By John Lee.
Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi has issued a statement saying that government formation is going well and that on the security front, all militias loyal to the government must come under government control.
The remarks are another sign of the PM's departure from the governing style of Nouri-al-Maliki, who originally appeared tough on militias such as the now defunct Jaish-al-Mahdi, only to later tolerate the presence of non-state armed groups such as Asa'ib ahl-al-Haq. Abadi also remarked that government formation negotiations were "positive", noting,
"We will never allow any armed group to operate outside of the framework of the state," before continuing that politics was progressing:
"Several meetings and dialogues were held with the political blocs to form a unified vision for our governmental program. The negotiations were generally positive and constructive. I hope we will agree to form a unified vision for the governmental program in the next two days."
Abadi's remarks are also another sign that the new PM can potentially gather greater regional and international support for his efforts to unify Iraq and bring reconciliation to the long troubled country.
Renewed attempts at reconciliation have won Abadi the tentative support of governments around the region, including Saudi Arabia, who were previously at loggerheads with Nouri-al-Maliki.
(Source: The Daily Star-Lebanon)