Ban offers formation of “inclusive government” against ISIL threat

BAIDAT (CIHAN)- After meeting with Iraq’s leaders in Baghdad on Thursday (24 July), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Iraq is facing “an existential threat” that could be overcome through the formation of an “inclusive government” which will represent all Iraqi people.

Following a meeting between the Secretary-General and Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, both leaders addressed the press where al-Maliki stated that he had “assured the UN chief that despite what happened in Iraq, his government “is in control” and that the attempt to portray the conflict as sectarian has failed since “the Iraqi people, Sunnis and Shiites rose up against ISIL and the terrorists and proved that the battle is not Sunni, or Shiite or sectarian or ethnic.”

During their meeting, Ban and the prime minister reviewed the ongoing security crisis, the government formation process, relations between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government and relations between Iraq and Kuwait.

Briefing the press, Ban said he was “profoundly worried about the violence engulfing Iraq” and he expressed his “strong support and solidarity for the people of Iraq” in their struggle against terrorism. He reminded that the violence have claimed thousands of lives and driven over one million people from their homes this year alone, when the armed group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had taken control of more than a third of the country’s territory after unleashing a wave of violence.

He strongly condemned the “systematic and despicable” persecution of minority populations by the Islamic State and associated armed groups, adding that any systematic attack that targets the civilian population because of their ethnic background or religious beliefs may well constitute a crime against humanity.

Ban called on all sides to respect human rights standards and uphold international humanitarian law.

The Secretary-General reminded Iraqi leaders that they “bear a clear responsibility to protect security and welfare of all Iraqi people” and urged them to find “common ground to “to aance the future of this great country.”

Ban also called on authorities in Baghdad and Erbil to work together “toward restoring their partnership and jointly address current security crisis.”