Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki renewed on Sunday opposition to federalism in the country at least for the time being, pending restoration of stability and security.
“The calls for a federal system of government now are tendentious; though they seem right, they aim at the wrong thing,” he told a gathering of clan leaders in Basra city, south Iraq.
Al-Maliki said his government is focused on maintaining the national unity and restoring security countrywide while working to cement relations with all neighboring countries.
“Although the constitution provides for some kind of (semi-autonomous) regions and federalism, we have first to stabilize the country and affirm its unity before going to the federal system,” he argued.
“We cannot ensure the unity of the country without putting an end to the external interferences which are hazardous to our domestic affairs whatever the sources might be. We work for having friendly relations with all countries but shut the doors of interference,” he added.
Al-Maliki stressed the need for selecting the government officials on the basis of efficiency without any factional considerations or nepotism.