Iraqi politicians criticize PM on circumstances leading to U.S. withdrawal

Posted: October 22, 2011 in Iraqi Dinar/Politics
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Baghdad, Oct. 22 (AKnews) – Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki received criticism from various politicians and lawmakers after U.S. President Barack Obama officially announced the failure of negotiations between Iraq and the U.S. to keep 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq as trainers, leading to the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

Although politicians aligned in criticizing Maliki, the reasons for their complaints differed.

Iraqiya List, led by former Prime Minister Ayyad Allawi and one of Maliki’s biggest opponents, praised the U.S. decision and expressed dislike for Maliki’s attempts to keep trainers in Iraq.

“After the American side announced its intention to withdraw, it is shameful that the Iraqi government sought to keep the U.S. trainers,” Haider al-Mulla, Iraqiya spokesman, said. “We should rely on the national experience and the international community and the UN in order to seek to help Iraq filling the logistic gaps caused by the withdrawal of U.S. troops.”

The Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC), a coalition of Kurdish parties in the Iraqi parliament, criticized the Iraqi government for its inability to find a solution with the U.S. so that troops could have stayed in the country.

“The American position was clear that no soldier will stay in Iraq without judicial immunity. The Iraqi government must take responsibility and study the possibility of finding a replacement to complete the training of the Iraqi army,” Muayyid Tayyeb, KBC spokesman, said.

Only Hamid al-Mutlaq, member of the parliamentary Security and Defense Commission, appreciated the decision and said he believed that the withdrawal will not affect the internal security situation in Iraq.

“We hope that the decision will be actually implemented and there should not be any delay in the withdrawal process,” Mutlaq said.

Meanwhile, Maliki’s State of Law Coalition (SLC) assured that the decision made on Friday was not the end of bilateral negotiations about ways to keep U.S. trainers in Iraq.

“Iraq is well aware that its forces need training, so I think that an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks, Izzat Shabandar, a SLC leader, said. “Our aim is to find alternatives for the absolute judicial immunity required by the U.S., such as a relative immunity limited to the nature of the work of the trainer.”

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