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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki: 'I Am Not Familiar With Fear'


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Join date : 2012-12-21

Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki: 'I Am Not Familiar With Fear' Empty Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki: 'I Am Not Familiar With Fear'

Post by rocky Sat 22 Mar 2014, 6:45 am

Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki: 'I Am Not Familiar With Fear'

Part 2: 'A Military Solution Will Not Topple Assad'

SPIEGEL: How did Washington react?

Maliki: Vice President Joe Biden said that the United States had tried to stop these processes, but without success. And now we can see the outcome in Syria …

SPIEGEL: … where extremists, some funded by Saudi Arabia, are fighting dictator Bashar Assad, an Alawi who is aligned with the Shiites …

Maliki: … and the violence returned to Iraq from terror-infested Syria. But it has also swept over into Lebanon and Jordan.

SPIEGEL: And these groups, allegedly controlled by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are now deciding Assad's fate?

Maliki: No, they can't do that. That's where they have failed. But we told that to the Americans from the beginning, when officials in Washington were saying that Assad would be toppled within two months. Now three years have passed and the Assad regime still exists.

SPIEGEL: How much longer do you give him?

Maliki: All I know is that a military solution will not topple Assad. It isn't that I intend to defend the Syrian system, but I spent 16 living in exile in Syria, and I'm familiar with the conditions there. I warned against this snowball of violence.

SPIEGEL: It's an astonishing metaphor, here in Baghdad, but how is it possible to prevent it from becoming an avalanche?

Maliki: We have to make it clear that the military solution is not an option. And then the solution must be left up to the two sides in Syria. They will have to find a way without outside intervention.

SPIEGEL: Sorry, but that's naïve. Since the negotiations in Geneva, we have known that both sides are not interested in a peaceful solution.

Maliki: The fact that we can't find a solution is the product of backroom meddling. This exertion of influence must stop. If the United States and the Saudis would stop telling the parties involved what they should say or demand, they would actually have to sit down together. And perhaps they would also find a solution.

SPIEGEL: Otherwise the country will break up?

Maliki: At least the war will continue. It currently benefits the regime, which has gained territory. And this war will infect the entire region. The attacks and the fanaticism in Lebanon are the first effects, but the tension in Turkey is also a consequence of the Syrian drama. The regime in Jordan is already faltering, and the crisis will also spread into Saudi Arabia.

SPIEGEL: Do you think the Saudi royal family is at risk?

Maliki: Yes, the royal family is in danger. It has no sensitivity to the social problems of our age. It stands for an old form of rule based on a sectarian persuasion …

SPIEGEL: … the extremely conservative Wahhabism. And that's why the United States, after former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, will soon lose its next alliance partner in the region -- and the world economy will have to worry about its oil supply.

Maliki: Why are you worried about your oil? After all, Saudi Arabia still has to sell its oil.

SPIEGEL: A change in power would trigger unrest in Saudi Arabia, much as Saddam's overthrow in 2003 did in Iraq. The violence has dealt a serious setback to your country's oil production.

Maliki: But now we're ready. We can jump in if Saudi Arabia's production declines.

SPIEGEL: We don't have that impression. Your country probably has the world's fifth-largest oil reserves, but you are far from capable of offsetting a loss of Saudi Arabian oil. Iraq would have to become more stable first.

Maliki: I don't deny that there are certain problems. But we are one of the 10 countries with the greatest surge of development. And in the next two or three years, we will make yet another leap forward in terms of oil production and export. So please don't feel as if you are a hostage of Saudi Arabia.

SPIEGEL: You seem to forget that you cannot dispose of your country's oil reserves quite that easily. The Kurds are claiming mineral resources in the north. An armed conflict over the oil fields of Kirkuk and a breakup of the country are not out of the question.

Maliki: The Kurds had the illusion that they could control the oil in the north themselves. They believed that neighboring Turkey would support their plans. But the Turks are not Kurdistan's sponsor. On the contrary, they would devour the Kurds in one bite. That's why the Kurds only have a future as part of Iraq. And only Iraq can safeguard the production and export of that oil. The Kurds are in the process of discussing this outlook among themselves, and are realizing that they have substantial disagreements. But you can rest assured, because our biggest oil reserves are in the south.

SPIEGEL: Part of the country borders Iran, whose influence extends into the government in Baghdad. Your rival Allawi says that Tehran is shaping Iraqi policy in an unprecedented manner.

Maliki: No, a thousand times no! Anyone who says that sort of thing is trying to harm the government's image. No one influences our policy. Look, Iran and the United States are enemies, but Iraq is a friend of both America and Iran, because we are an independent country. We do not allow ourselves to be roped in for the interests of others. Only Iraq's interests are important to us. That's why we have signed a partnership agreement with the United States and Europe, but also with Turkey, Iran and other countries.

SPIEGEL: You have been a guest at the White House, and your fellow Shiites in Iran welcomed you when you were forced to flee from Saddam. Has the time come for reconciliation between Washington and Tehran?

Maliki: Yes, I think so. And I have the impression that both governments are now seeking good relations, which is in their own interest. They have grown tired of the hostilities.

SPIEGEL: Both Washington and Tehran want to profit from your country's development. Is there anything left for Germany, one of the world's top exporting nations?

Maliki: A trusting historic relationship connects our two countries. German products and companies command great respect in Iraq. That's why we would like to award a project like the construction of the Mosul dam to a German company. We are also talking to your railroad experts about expanding our rail network. We will be seeking bids for an airport project, and we also need German companies to develop a domestic auto industry. We welcome everyone in Iraq.

SPIEGEL: A prerequisite for major investment would be the reestablishment of law and order. But you haven't even been able to do that in Baghdad. Terror attacks claimed 239 lives in the capital in February alone. In fact, we almost became the casualties of two car bombs, which exploded at a checkpoint to the heavily guarded International Zone, the seat of your government and international institutions.

Maliki: We have created stability, even though there are still troubled regions like Anbar Province. And the kind of incident you experienced here in Baghdad can happen anywhere. Even in Europe you aren't safe from terrorism.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, we thank you for this interview.

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