(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. has warned Iraq’s leaders, namely Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, “not to blow this opportunity,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told State Department employees during a town hall meeting Thursday morning.
“This is an opportunity for the Iraqi people of all areas of Iraq, of all religious affiliation, of all backgrounds — this is an opportunity to have a unified Iraq. And the only way to do that is by compromising,” Clinton said, adding that Iraqis need to get past the divisions of the Saddam Hussein and immediate post-Saddam Hussein eras.
“He’s gone, but people’s minds are not yet fully open to the potential for what this new opportunity can mean to them. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of line drawing going on and boundary imposing between, you know, different political factions,” she said.
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Reed Alexander and James Griffiths, CNN
Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Livia Borghese and Joshua Berlinger, CNN