Thursday, October 26, 2006
Maliki's press conference at odds with Bush's
Iraq’s Leader Jabs at U.S. on Timetables and Militias
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: October 26, 2006
BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki put himself at odds on Wednesday with the American government that backs him, distancing himself from the American notion of a timetable for stabilizing Iraq and criticizing an American-backed raid on a Shiite militia enclave.
His comments stood in stark contrast to the message given Tuesday by the top two United States officials in Iraq, General George W. Casey Jr. and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who said the timetable for political measures had been accepted by the Iraqi government.
“I want to stress that this is a government of the people’s will, and no one has the right to set a timetable for it,” Mr. Maliki said at a news conference broadcast on national television.
“This is an elected government, and only the people who elected the government have the right to make time limitations or amendments,” he said, stabbing the air with his hand.