US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Sliman [L] meets with the Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad on September 17, 2017. Photo" Maliki's media office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki has said to the US Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Sliman that they will not allow a “second Israel” to be created in northern Iraq.
The two met on Sunday in Baghdad to discuss a number of issues including the Kurdish independence referendum, a statement from Maliki’s office on his official Facebook read.
“We will not allow the creation of a second Israel in northern Iraq,” the statement quoted Maliki as saying to the US Ambassador.
It said Maliki asked Erbil to cancel the referendum as it is neither in the interest of the Iraqi people, nor that of the Kurdish people.
The White House demanded on Friday for the KRG to call off the vote on independence while calling for having talks with Baghdad.
Maliki is also a former Prime Minister under whose term the Kurdish and Iraqi relations reached its lowest point which eventually resulted in Maliki deciding to cut the Kurdish share of the Iraqi budget in 2014 over Erbil’s plans to export oil to the international market.
Kurdistan does not have any direct diplomatic relations with Israel, but the two nations share historical relations.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week said that they support the establishment of a Kurdish state.
The Kurdistan Region is heading to polls on September 25 to decide whether or not they will leave Iraq, despite the opposition from the Iraqi government.
The US embassy in Baghdad has not published a statement on the meeting.
Maliki is the head of the ruling Dawa Party who fills the position of the Iraqi prime ministry.