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U.N. urges political solutions for Iraq

June 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM

BAGHDAD, June 12 (UPI) -- The U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq said it is committed to finding a political solution to crises in the country but is frustrated with the level of violence.

A statement attributed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said talks between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and representatives from the Kurdistan Regional Government were positive steps.

The KRG and the central government in Baghdad are at odds over issues ranging from oil to territorial jurisdiction. Human Rights Watch in two reports said it suspected Iraqi security forces were behind civilian attacks in northern Iraq in recent months.

The statement said Ban was "following with concern" the increase in violence in Iraq, which he said was "appalling." April and May were among the most violent months in Iraq in recent years.

He said in a Tuesday statement the United Nations and the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq are committed to assisting the Iraqi government in "building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous country."

The KRG issued a statement describing the meeting with Maliki as "brief."

Ban this week said UNAMI special envoy Martin Kobler would transfer to the mission for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wihda al-Jumaili, a lawmaker from the Shiite Iraqiya political coalition, was quoted by the Voices of Iraq news agency as saying the transfer was "proof of our suspicions of his non-neutrality in delivering his reports to the United Nations."

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