Contending that the best course was to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to tackle the ISIS militants, he admitted that some neighboring nations of Iraq had helped the extremist group.
Ansari said the conflict with the extremists should not be seen in the context of Shia-Sunni rivalry but as a threat to the unity and integrity of Iraq. He also blamed "enemies of Islam" for trying to create a wedge between Shias and Sunnis.
The ambassador said hundreds of Sunni as well as Shia clerics have given a fatwa (decree) in favor of the Maliki government and this will unite moderate and democratic forces to fight extremism. He said that many terrorists, who were earlier fighting in Syria, have recently joined ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria) militant group. Asked about the failure of the Maliki government in allowing ISIS to emerge as a major military force, Ansari admitted that there was an intelligence failure but stressed that the need of the hour is not to criticize the Iraqi government but to solidly support it to root out terrorism. (IANS)