Saturday, 28th February 2015

UN envoy says no immediate danger of Iraq violence spreading to Baghdad

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The top UN envoy to Iraq on Thursday told members of the Security Council there is no immediate danger of the violence spreading to Baghdad, the Iraqi national capital.

The prediction was retold by Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, this month's council president, at the UN Headquarters in New York after members of the council were briefed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Iraq, Nickolay Mlodenov, via a teleconference, with Mlodenov speaking from Baghdad, following insurgents taking over a wide swath of northern Iraq, including the nation's second largest city, Mosul.

"Baghdad is well protected; the government is in control, so there is no immediate -- at least this is the way I understood him -- there is no immediate danger of the violence spreading to Baghdad," Churkin told reporters, quoting Mlodenov as saying.  Mlodenov also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).
 He denied reports the recent activity was "spilling over from Syria -- that is not the situation." Syria has been locked in a three-year civil war.

"I think the situation is that there is terrorist activity in the Middle East .. coming from different directions," the council president said. "Maybe some of those terrorists now fighting in Iraq have come from Syria but mostly they are moving from other directions and so it's kind of a mixed bag thing."Churkin said immediately after consultation with his colleagues on the 15-member panel:

"Members of the security council are united in their attitude to the situation in Iraq and .. expressed their unanimous support to the government and the people of Iraq in their fight against terrorism.”

"They stressed that all (government) actions should be within the constitutional framework and comply with the international humanitarian law and human rights standards," he said.

"They strongly condemned all terrorist activities regardless of their motivation."  Churkin said that council members "urged the Iraqi government and the international community to support UNAMI, especially in its activities in response to the humanitarian crisis," and also urged "all inclusive dialogue" in Baghdad.

"This is a great opportunity for a fresh start in having all inclusive dialogue and also in resolving a multitude of issues, social issues, the issues of oil, who is controlling oil and oil revenues and things like that," Churkin said. "So, a lot is to be done.

But the more immediate thing is to reach some kind of accommodation between the main political forces to make it easier for them all to fight the terrorists."According to Farhan Haq spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mlodenov also met with Speaker Osama Nujeifi of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Thursday and expressed his concern for "the grave situation saying that the ongoing violence in parts of Iraq is the most severe threat to its security in years." Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's request for special emergency powers, following the insurgents' takeover of Mosul, was denied by Parliament.  United Nations, June 13 (Xinhua)



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