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Senators warn Obama of Maliki's 'mismanagement' in Iraq

Oct. 30, 2013 at 1:59 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's "mismanagement of Iraqi politics" may be leading to civil war, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators warned Tuesday.

The senators, leaders on foreign policy from both parties, wrote a letter to President Obama in advance of Maliki's arrival in Washington, The Washington Post reported. The letter said Iran is exerting a "malign influence" on Maliki's government, which is also mistreating Iraq's Sunni minority.

"Prime Minister Maliki's mismanagement of Iraqi politics is contributing to the recent surge of violence," the letter said. "These were the same conditions that drove Iraq toward civil war during the last decade and we fear that fate could befall Iraq once again."

The letter was signed by Carl Levin, D-Mich., John McCain, R-Ariz., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Obama and Maliki are scheduled to meet at the White House Friday. One of the most contentious issues appears to be Obama's continued, and so far ineffective, pressure for a more open and less sectarian government in Iraq.

Maliki is seeking more military aid, including Apache helicopters.

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