Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shiite leader in Iraq urges quick decision on new government

BAGHDAD — Iraq's top Shiite cleric on Friday urged the country's divided political factions to select a new prime minister by early next week, in a public call for a political solution that increases pressure on the embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Speaking from the holy city of Karbala, Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbalaie, a cleric representing Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on Iraq's political blocs to select a new leader before the recently elected parliament sits Monday.

Delivering the message from the grand ayatollah, he also urged the factions to select a parliamentary speaker and a president, and for the country to remain whole.

"Iraqis have passed bigger crises than this in the past history," he said. "We must not think of dividing Iraq as part of a solution for the current crises, the solution must protect the unity of Iraq and the rights of all its sects."

The grand ayatollah's message came as Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, challenged the central government's authority and the cleric's wishes. On a tour of Kirkuk, the long-contested and oil-rich northern city that Kurds claim as their own, Barzani said Thursday that the city would remain in Kurdish hands. He repeated his position Friday.

The challenges to Maliki, a Shiite, underscored the intractable nature of Iraq's political problems even as fighting rages in many areas of the country and large swaths of territory are out of government control.

No obvious or broadly supported successor to Maliki has emerged, making it uncertain how political blocs might select a new prime minister by the grand ayatollah's suggested deadline.

Maliki, for his part, did not address the grand ayatollah's message. In a taped speech televised Friday afternoon, he said parliament would meet Monday and Iraq's security forces were guarding the capital. It was not clear whether his address had been taped before or after the grand ayatollah's message.

SEEKING MORE THAN SHELTER: Iraqi Christian families wait for water and food Friday at a church in Irbil, Iraq. Tens of thousands of people have fled Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul after it was overrun by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants. Many have been temporarily housed at camps as they hope to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region.

Getty Images

SEEKING MORE THAN SHELTER: Iraqi Christian families wait for water and food Friday at a church in Irbil, Iraq. Tens of thousands of people have fled Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul after it was overrun by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants. Many have been temporarily housed at camps as they hope to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region.

Shiite leader in Iraq urges quick decision on new government 06/27/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 27, 2014 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  2. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles

    Wildlife

    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]
  3. Photo of the Day for September 22, 2017 - Willets taking flight

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dan Cleary of Madeira Beach, FL.

  4. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  5. 'Rocket Man' Kim answers by calling Trump a 'dotard'

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea — Famous for using bombastic, derogatory and often-awkward English slams against enemies, North Korean state media sent people scrambling for dictionaries Friday with a dispatch that quotes leader Kim Jong Un calling President Donald Trump "the mentally deranged U.S. dotard."

    The what?

    In this Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, photo distributed on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a statement in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's speech to the United Nations, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim, in an extraordinary and direct rebuke, called Trump "deranged" and said he will "pay dearly" for his threats, a possible indication of more powerful weapons tests on the horizon. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. [Associated Press]