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ISIL poses serious security threat to Iraq, says White House

Any decision that US President makes about military actions in Iraq will be focused on its core national security interests, said Earnest.

By: Press Trust of India | Washington |
Updated: July 4, 2014 9:54:28 am
ISIL Militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Source: AP)

The ISIL which has gained control over a large part of Iraq and Syria poses serious security threat to the Iraq and Iraqi leadership should quickly come together to form a new government in the country, the White House has said.

“It (the government formation process) is not moving as expeditiously as we would like it to, there is no doubt about that.

Time is of the essence right now because there is a serious threat to the security situation there that is posed by The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday.

So US President Barack Obama and other world leaders have been pressing Iraq’s political leadership not just to come together at a time and place of their choosing, but come together quickly, because it is important for the future of Iraq for them to form that government in line with the process that is laid out by their constitution, he said.

“And once that government is formed, it is important for that government to pursue the kind of inclusive governing agenda that makes it clear to every citizen in Iraq that they have a stake in that country’s future,” he added.

“That is also what is going to be required for the security forces in Iraq to be strengthened, that the security forces need to reflect the diversity of the country, and when you have a unified political leadership, you have unified security forces,” Earnest said.

“We are confident that Iraq can meet the threat that is posed by ISIL, but we are confident that they won’t be able to meet that threat if they don’t act quickly to form that government and for that government to pursue an inclusive agenda,” he said.

Responding to questions about sending troops, Earnest said any decision that US President makes about military actions in Iraq will be focused on its core national security interests.

“That’s what is driving that decision, and that is what will continue to drive the decision moving forward,” he said.

“So what you have seen is in recent days, the announcement of deployment of some additional troops to Iraq with the sole purpose of ensuring the safety and security of American personnel who are already in Iraq.

That is the President’s top goal, and that is what he has assessed thus far in terms of deploying military assets in support of our broader national security interests,” he said.

Earnest said it is critically important for the government of Iraq to unite in the face of this threat and that any sort of military action will need to be partnered with a commitment from Iraq’s political leaders to do exactly that.

“Because ultimately, there is not a military solution to this problem, there is a diplomatic and political solution that will ultimately address so many of the significant challenges that are facing Iraq right now,” he said.

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