Nickolay Mladenov, the special representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Iraq, briefs reporters via video-link at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 25, 2014. The UN envoy for Iraq said here Monday that despite ongoing sectarian violence in the country, "the situation is grave but not unsolvable." (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)
UNITED NATIONS, June 25 (Xinhua) -- A UN envoy for Iraq said here Monday that despite sectarian violence in the country continuing, "the situation is grave, but not unsolvable."
While the humanitarian situation "remains dire," Nickolay Mladenov, the special representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Iraq, told reporters here via teleconference from Baghdad, "Iraq can be saved and the country can be brought together."
He placed his hopes on the seating July 1 of a new parliament, following balloting on April 3. He expected an election after July 1 by the Iraqi parliament of a speaker and formation of a government.
"These are the constitutionally mandated steps within the Iraqi political process," Mladenov said. "So we hope that they will unfold quickly after July 1."
He said the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which he heads, has been "working intensely with the representatives all political parties" to that end, adding that the representatives are aware that "It is not business as usual, anymore."
"There is general agreement across the board that the next government includes substantial representatives of the full Iraqi community and it must be led by a team of people that are able to quickly address the challenges .. as well as bring the various communities together," Mladenov said. "What the composition of that government will be it is up to the democratically elected representatives of this country to decide."
The present government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been criticized for being too pro-Shiite, spawning support for the pro-Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which recently swept across vast swaths of Iraq and threatened the capital of Baghdad.
However, Mladenov said while he did not expect ISIS to attack the capital, "the view is they are trying to isolate Baghdad." He said there was plenty of military in the city to defend it.
WASHINGTON, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Iran is sending drones and military equipment secretly into Iraq to help the Shiite-led government in Baghdad cope with an ongoing offensive by the Sunni militants, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Tehran has set up a special control center at Al Rashid airfield in Baghdad, Iraq, and is flying its own "small fleet" of Ababil surveillance drones over Iraq, the paper said in a story posted at its website, quoting American officials. Full story