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Iraqi PM: US, Iraqi Plans Must Sync Up
In Al Arabiya Interview, Also Defensive About Saddam Hanging
01/09/2007 6:11 PM ET
Maliki: Bush plan should be integrated with Iraqi strategy
Baghdad, Jan 9, (VOI) – A U.S. plan for Iraq due to be announced this week by President George Bush should be integrated with the strategy of the Iraqi government, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Tuesday. Bush is due to unveil his plan on Wednesday evening. But Maliki vowed there would be no backtracking on national reconciliation despite repercussions of executing former president Saddam Hussein. "U.S. President George Bush’s plan should be integrated with the strategy of the Iraqi government,” Maliki told Al-Arabiya satellite television. On Saturday, Maliki announced “a more decisive plan” to establish security in the Iraqi capital. On Tuesday, he said the Iraqi army and police would carry out the new security plan. “We will fight outlaws by the law, regardless of their faith or party affiliations,” he said. National reconciliation, Maliki said, was a strategic issue despite an uproar over the execution of Saddam last week. "It is the ship that all Iraqis must board to reach a safe coast," the prime minister said. Maliki said that some members of the ex-Baath party that ruled Iraq under Saddam have told Iraqi leaders that the execution would pave the way for them to join the political process. Commenting on a leaked video of Saddam's execution, Maliki said: "It does not hurt us if the whole world talked about Saddam's execution as long as we have enacted the law." But he described the person who shot an illegal film of the execution as "naïve and spontaneous" and said he would be punished. A government spokesman earlier said one person had been arrested and referred to the judiciary for trial over the video.

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