Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on his meeting yesterday with Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Saleh Mutlaq:
“I had an excellent meeting yesterday with Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Saleh Mutlaq. We discussed the tragic developments in Anbar province, and he offered great insights into how our two governments can work together in addressing Iraq’s current crisis. We both agreed that strengthening and improving the capabilities of Iraq’s armed forces is essential at this difficult time, but we also agreed that there is no purely military solution to Iraq’s problems.
“The only way to halt Iraq’s slide into instability and achieve lasting peace and prosperity is through greater democracy, power sharing, and reconciliation. All Iraqi citizens should be empowered through the political system, and all Iraqis have an obligation to reject violence and extremism and take steps to further political reconciliation. In particular, both members of Congress and the Obama Administration should continue to urge Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his government to reach out to all Iraqis, to govern more inclusively, and to pursue the necessary political reforms that can strengthen national unity and marginalize Al-Qaeda and other violent extremists.”