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NEWS
April 28, 2006
These days, it's hard to muster any optimism about Iraq's future: Killings and bombings remain a daily occurrence in Baghdad, oil production barely limps along and American troops are dug in for the duration. But the new prime minister designee, Nouri al-Maliki, may be a reason for a change in attitude. He is saying the right things about policing sectarian militias. He has acknowledged the impact Sunni Muslim ministers could have on the insurgency. He has put a priority on returning basic services to Iraqis.
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NEWS
December 27, 2010
Nine months after Iraqis went to the polls in national parliamentary elections last spring, the country's squabbling political factions finally reached a deal this week to allow a new government to take office. That's good news for Iraqis who had begun to question the ability of their leaders to bring stability to the country and avert a return to the bloody sectarian violence of four years ago. But now the pressure is on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to show that his new Shiite-dominated ruling coalition is up to the challenge of dealing with the country's problems in a way that is acceptable to all Iraq's major political and sectarian groups.
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NEWS
By LOUISE ROUG and LOUISE ROUG,LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 24, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The man selected to lead Iraq continued to send mixed signals on the critical issue of dismantling militias, even as the U.S. ambassador said yesterday that disbanding the groups is the single most significant step in preventing civil war. Jawad al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim political figure endorsed Saturday as prime minister by Iraq's new parliament, has 30 days to form a Cabinet that meets the elected body's approval. But as Iraqi politicians haggle over influence and jostle for government posts, the problem of militias has emerged as the biggest challenge.
NEWS
By Tina Susman and Tina Susman,Los Angeles Times | February 1, 2009
BAGHDAD - A young Sunni man strolling along the Tigris River hesitated when asked whom he had voted for in provincial elections yesterday. Then he gave an answer that would have seemed unthinkable during the depths of Iraq's bloody civil war: "Our prime minister" - the Shiite head of the government, Nouri al-Maliki. Along Haifa Street, where high-rises once served as shooting galleries for Sunni gunmen battling U.S. troops, another Sunni voter was coy about his choice but hinted that he, too, is pleased with the job al-Maliki has done.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | July 15, 2007
BAGHDAD -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared yesterday that Iraqi forces could secure the country on their own "any time" American troops decided to withdraw, his first response to the White House report this week that found his government falling well short of many political reforms and military readiness goals sought by the Bush administration. Al-Maliki has been under attack by American officials and many Iraqi politicians for leading a government mired in disputes and unable to make progress on major legislation seen as crucial to stabilizing the country.
NEWS
By James Gerstenzang and Alexandra Zavis and James Gerstenzang and Alexandra Zavis,LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 22, 2007
With pressure growing on both men to stabilize Iraq, President Bush called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki yesterday from his Texas ranch to offer a new show of confidence on the first anniversary of al-Maliki's taking office. The discussion came as Bush faces growing political unrest over his war policies and increasing demands to force Iraqi political leaders to make their government more inclusive and their nation more secure. In reported remarks yesterday, Bush said "an important moment" in the Iraq war would come in September, when Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander, plans to deliver an assessment of progress.
NEWS
By Borzou Daragahi and Borzou Daragahi,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 20, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A long-awaited Iraqi government shake-up meant to sharpen an executive branch derided as ineffective and adrift won't touch key security and economic Cabinet positions, top Iraqi officials said yesterday. Though his nation is ravaged by violence and poverty, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will only include a dozen relatively minor ministry posts in his reshuffle plan, including the heads of health, transportation, culture, women's affairs and tourism, his deputies and inner circle said in telephone interviews and media outlets.
NEWS
By Peter Wallsten and Solomon Moore and Peter Wallsten and Solomon Moore,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 1, 2006
AMMAN, Jordan -- Seeking to recover from a series of diplomatic gaffes, President Bush extolled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's courage and vowed yesterday to help him secure greater authority over security forces in the struggle to quell violence. But after about two hours of meetings, the leaders announced no new initiatives or specific plans, and Bush returned to Washington and offered no details about how and where such a transfer of authority would occur. Al-Maliki suggested in an ABC News interview after the meetings that U.S. forces could leave by June.
NEWS
By Alexandra Zavis and Alexandra Zavis,LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 25, 2008
BAGHDAD -- The main Sunni Arab political bloc announced yesterday that it was ready to rejoin the Shiite-led Cabinet, a step that could boost reconciliation efforts and help shore up Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's faltering government. Rashid Azzawi, a parliamentary representative for the Iraqi Accordance Front, said the Sunni alliance expects to submit its nominees for the Cabinet within days. The bloc ordered six members to leave the Cabinet last year, accusing al-Maliki and other Shiite politicians of ignoring Sunni interests, a reflection of the feeling among Iraq's Sunni minority that it is being sidelined by the majority Shiites and the Kurds, who dominate parliament and al-Maliki's government.
NEWS
By Louise Roug and Peter Spiegel and Louise Roug and Peter Spiegel,Los Angeles Times | January 13, 2007
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has filled the top military job in Baghdad with a virtually unknown Iraqi officer chosen over the objections of top U.S. and Iraqi military commanders, according to officials from both governments. Iraqi political figures said yesterday that al-Maliki also had failed to consult the leaders of other political factions before announcing the appointment of Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar. The appointment is highly significant because it is al-Maliki's first public move after President Bush's announcement that he is sending more troops to Iraq.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | December 26, 2008
With provincial elections scheduled for the end of January, Iraq's political troubles seem closer to Shakespearean drama than to nascent democracy. There is talk of a coup to oust the prime minister. The speaker of the parliament has abruptly resigned, making angry accusations on his way out the door. And there have been sweeping arrests of people believed to be conspiring against the government, both in Baghdad and Diyala province. Beneath the swirl of accusations and rumors is a power play in which different factions within the government - and some outside it - are struggling to gain ground as American influence in the country wanes and elections approach that could begin to reshape the political landscape in Iraq.
NEWS
By Ned Parker and Saif Hammed and Ned Parker and Saif Hammed,Los Angeles Times | October 22, 2008
BAGHDAD - Iraq's Cabinet asked for changes in a U.S.-Iraqi security agreement yesterday, once more casting doubt on the document's speedy passage with less than three months to go before the U.N. mandate authorizing the presence of American troops in Iraq expires. The first Cabinet session reviewing the document revealed what a divisive issue the security agreement has become. The country's Kurdish bloc is publicly backing the current accord, while Shiite Muslim and Sunni Arab allies of the United States remain wary of endorsing the draft, which had been described by both Americans and Iraqis as in its final form.
NEWS
By Ashraf Khalil and Ashraf Khalil,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 10, 2008
BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki concluded a three-day visit to Iran after meeting yesterday with Ayatollah Ali Khameni, who warned that the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is "the main obstacle on the way to progress and prosperity in Iraq." The session with Khameni, Iran's top religious and political authority, served to further highlight the delicate position of the Iraqi government, caught between the United States and Iran, each seeking to pull Iraq out of the other's sphere of influence.
NEWS
By Alexandra Zavis and Alexandra Zavis,LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 25, 2008
BAGHDAD -- The main Sunni Arab political bloc announced yesterday that it was ready to rejoin the Shiite-led Cabinet, a step that could boost reconciliation efforts and help shore up Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's faltering government. Rashid Azzawi, a parliamentary representative for the Iraqi Accordance Front, said the Sunni alliance expects to submit its nominees for the Cabinet within days. The bloc ordered six members to leave the Cabinet last year, accusing al-Maliki and other Shiite politicians of ignoring Sunni interests, a reflection of the feeling among Iraq's Sunni minority that it is being sidelined by the majority Shiites and the Kurds, who dominate parliament and al-Maliki's government.
NEWS
By Ned Parker and Caesar Ahmed and Ned Parker and Caesar Ahmed,Los Angeles Times | April 5, 2008
BAGHDAD -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a halt yesterday to raids on armed Shiite Muslim gangs in Baghdad and southern Iraq, just a day after announcing his intentions to carry out operations in districts of the capital that are under de facto control of a key Shiite cleric's militia. The new statement, released by al-Maliki's office, left unanswered whether the prime minister was retreating or taking a break from his pledge to take on lawless elements often associated by U.S. and Iraqi officials with cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.
NEWS
By Tina Susman and Tina Susman,Los Angeles Times | March 29, 2008
BAGHDAD -- As U.S. forces plunged deeper into the bloody showdown between Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki extended a deadline yesterday for fighters to disarm after nobody responded to his first one. The United States military said a Navy jet had strafed a mortar-launching position in the southern city of Basra with 20-mm cannon fire Thursday night, killing three "criminal militia members." It was the first time U.S. forces had been directly involved in the combat in Basra since al-Maliki launched an offensive against militias there on Tuesday.
NEWS
By Tina Susman and Tina Susman,Los Angeles Times | March 29, 2008
BAGHDAD -- As U.S. forces plunged deeper into the bloody showdown between Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki extended a deadline yesterday for fighters to disarm after nobody responded to his first one. The United States military said a Navy jet had strafed a mortar-launching position in the southern city of Basra with 20-mm cannon fire Thursday night, killing three "criminal militia members." It was the first time U.S. forces had been directly involved in the combat in Basra since al-Maliki launched an offensive against militias there on Tuesday.
NEWS
By Louise Roug and Borzou Daragahi and Louise Roug and Borzou Daragahi,LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 18, 2007
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised yesterday to crack down on Shiite Muslim militias and Sunni Arab rebels, warning that no one - not even his political ally, Muqtada al-Sadr - will be above the law. "We will not allow any politicians to interfere with this Baghdad security plan whether they are Sunnis or Shiites, Arabs or Kurds, militias or parties, insurgents or terrorists," al-Maliki said, in a rare and forceful interview....
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | March 27, 2008
BAGHDAD -- An assault by thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police officers to regain control of the southern port city of Basra stalled yesterday as Shiite militiamen in the Mahdi Army fought daylong hit-and-run battles and refused to withdraw from the neighborhoods that form their base of power there. American officials have presented the Iraqi army's attempts to secure the port city as an example of its ability to carry out a major operation against the insurgency on its own. A failure there would be a serious embarrassment for the Iraqi government and for the army, as well as for American forces eager to demonstrate that the Iraqi units they have trained can fight effectively on their own. During a briefing in Baghdad yesterday, a British military official said that of the nearly 30,000 Iraqi security forces involved in the assault, almost 16,000 were Basra police forces, which have long been suspected of being infiltrated by the same militias the assault was intended to root out. The operation is a significant political test for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who traveled to Basra to oversee the beginning of the assault.
NEWS
By Alexandra Zavis and Alexandra Zavis,Los Angeles Times | September 30, 2007
Baghdad -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has secured a pledge from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to help cut off weapons, funding and other support to militiamen in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi officials said yesterday. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said there were signs of a slight drop in the types of attacks associated with Shiite militants since the deal was reached last month, and he dangled the possibility that U.S. and Iraqi officials might be able to do something in return.
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