Iraq Cancels Joe Biden's Visit
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki cancelled an impending visit by US Vice-President Joe Biden to Baghdad, which was aimed at meeting with high-ranking Iraqi officials.
"Nuri al-Maliki did not allowed US Vice-President Joe Biden to visit Iraq," an informed source in the Iraqi prime minister's information bureau told FNA in Baghdad on Tuesday.
Noting that Biden was scheduled to visit Baghdad in coming days to meet with Iraqi officials to discuss the recent differences and the political standoff between different parties and factions in the country, he added that Maliki informed Biden via the US embassy in Baghdad that Iraq is not ready to host him.
The source said the Iraqi embassy in the US has also conveyed a similar message from Maliki to the White House and State Department's officials.
Earlier reports by a website affiliated to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq said that the cancellation of Biden's visit by Maliki was ordered after it was revealed that the US vice-president is due to visit Erbil and meet President of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Massoud Barzani.
Sectarian and ethnic tensions still run deep while Maliki is doing whatever he can to fend off attempts to weaken the country's unity.
Iraqi politics are beset with entrenched internecine battles that continue to prevent any complete tranquility and stability in the country, while they are mostly the result of foreign plots mainly hatched by few regional states.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki stressed that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are trying to carry out a Syria-like plot against Iraq in a bid to topple the country's government.
"Qatar and Saudi Arabia which are meddling to topple the Syrian government are now doing the same meddling to topple the Iraqi regime. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi ruling system and not overthrowing me," Maliki said in an interview with Lebanese-based al-Mayadeen satellite network.
To that end, Maliki said, the two countries are spending huge sums, holding frequent meetings and adopting various measures to prove their claim that the Iraqi government holds sectarian views.
The Iraqi prime minister dismissed the claims as "politically-tainted".
He underlined that neither Qatar nor Saudi Arabia is qualified to judge the Iraqi government, and stated, "Look at your nations and see if the different social strata in your countries enjoy the rights and privileges that have already been given to the Iraqi people?"