Iraq PM warns violence may spill over

Last Updated 18 June 2014, 13:20 IST

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed Wednesday to confront terrorism and warned that the latest escalation of violence will spill over to those countries which led a "conspiracy" against Iraq.

"We will face terrorism and we will bring down the conspiracy. But be sure they will flee to you and your countries will also be burned by sectarian wars," Maliki said in his weekly televised speech, referring to the countries that Iraq earlier accused of supporting terrorist groups.

"What happened in Mosul was a setback, but not a defeat," he said, explaining the negative performance of the Iraqi security forces during the fall of the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh.

"We have managed to absorb the shock in Mosul and stopped the deterioration and psychological defeat for some soldiers and leaders. We have now started our reaction and regained the initiative by conducting strikes that would continue," Xinhua quoted Maliki as saying.

On Tuesday, a statement issued by Maliki's office said neighbouring Saudi Arabia was responsible for "financing and supporting " the insurgent groups in Iraq that led to bloodshed of Iraqis and devastation in the country.

The statement came in response to comments from the Saudi government about the situation in Iraq, which was seen by the Iraqi government as "siding with terrorism" and "interference in the Iraqi internal affairs".

"We strongly condemn such a stance," said the statement.

"The Iraqi government is holding Saudi Arabia responsible for the material and moral support that these insurgent groups gained, " the statement said, adding that such support to the terrorists "makes it responsible for the crimes committed by the terrorist groups".

Saudi Arabia's government rejected in a statement Monday any foreign intervention in Iraq's affairs and urged the Iraqi government to ensure the participation of all factions of the Iraqi people in determining the future of their country on an equal footing.

The Saudi statement also called for political and constitutional reforms in Iraq, and a speedy formation of a government of national consensus that can restore security and stability, and avoid policies that will instigate religious extremism and sectarianism.

(Published 18 June 2014, 13:20 IST)

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