WHITE HOUSE — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Barack Obama meet Friday at the White House. On the eve of the talks, the Iraqi leader said a resurgent al-Qaida endangers Iraq, the region and the world.
Prime Minister al-Maliki and others in the visiting Iraqi delegation have met with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, other U.S. officials, and members of the U.S. Congress.
Speaking Thursday at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, al-Maliki said a resurgent al-Qaida, helped by political upheaval in places like Syria and Libya, poses a threat to Iraq and the region.
He acknowledged a deterioration in Iraq and said the world should be worried about, and do everything possible to prevent, the success of al-Qaida.
\"We are warning, and we are fearing, and we are worrying [about] the potential success of the terrorist organizations in Syria. If God forbid they win, we and the whole world should do everything to prevent this, to prevent al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations to win in any country, not only in Syria and Iraq and Libya,\" said Maliki.
Al-Maliki and the White House voice similar positions on why violence has hit levels not seen since the worst period of Iraq\'s civil war between 2006 and 2008. Attacks have killed as many as 7,000 people this year.
He said al-Qaida is primarily responsible for attacks he said target both Sunni and Shiite, though he added some Iraqis are assisting terrorists coming from outside the country.
Press Secretary Jay Carney says the United States is \"deeply concerned\" about the violence.
\"It is important to focus on where this violence is coming from. It is coming from al-Qaida and its affiliates. They are trying to provoke cycles of sectarian reprisals, but we are confident they will not succeed,\" said Carney.
President Obama faces pressure from Congress to withhold new military aid unless al-Maliki agrees to improve governance and address criticisms he has shut Sunnis out of influence in government.
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