Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Iraq VP al-Hashemi criticizes Maliki government ahead of Bush meeting

Nouri al-Maliki, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, Moqtada al-Sadr,
Harith al-Dhari and Massoud Barzani

One of two Iraqi vice-presidents, al-Hashemi visits with Bush today several weeks ahead of schedule, and directly following reports of efforts to unseat al-Maliki and displace al-Sadr

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's Sunni vice president said he plans to tell President Bush of his "dismay" over the Shiite-led government's handling of security during their meeting Tuesday in the White House.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi accused the government of not doing enough to deal with militia attacks and said he was especially concerned about Baghdad, where Sunni-Shiite violence has flared in several neighborhoods in recent days.

"Slow and inadequate action is a problem that we have been facing with this government since it was formed," al-Hashemi said Monday in an interview with Baghdad TV, the mouthpiece of his Iraqi Islamic Party.

Al-Hashemi, one of two vice presidents, has been a sharp critic of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government. He has recently been joined by senior Kurdish and Shiite politicians, some from within the ruling coalition, in what is by far the most intense anti-government campaign since al-Maliki took office in May.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

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