(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.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Lauren del Valle, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN