Iraq is OK, U.N. envoy says

May 14, 2012 at 10:18 AM
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BAGHDAD, May 14 (UPI) -- Concerns about a massive security crisis in Iraq in the wake of the U.S. troop withdrawal never materialized, a U.N. official said.

Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. mission in Iraq and the U.N. secretary-general's special envoy to the country, said there were serious concerns about civil war erupting in Iraq once U.S. security force left in December.

"Nothing of the kind happened," he told the U.N. News Center in an interview. "All our figures indicate that there is no deterioration in the security situation of the country."

He said official figures indicate that 600 people have died as a result of conflict in Baghdad this year.

At least six people were killed in Iraq last weekend. The targets in separate attacks in Fallujah and Ramadi appeared to be Iraqi security forces, The New York Times reports.

Kobler's comments came as the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement refuting a Times report saying plans to end a police training program were abandoned.

The Iraqi political climate is tense following a Red Notice issued by Interpol for Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for his arrest on charges of overseeing a death squad. The Sunni vice president, currently in Turkey, denies the allegations.

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