Iraqi FM in hot water after remarks on two-state solution

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Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim angered his cabinet peers this week after expressing support for the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

“Iraq believes in a two-state solution to end the Palestinian crisis with Israel,” Hakim said, prompting some members of the Iraqi parliament to demand that he not to take such sensitive stances without consulting the cabinet and the parliament.

MP Hassan Shaker of the Construction Alliance said that it was not the minister’s place to make the statement.

“This does not represent Iraq officially, but represents his individual viewpoint,” Shaker said.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary bloc named “the coalition of state law,” led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, called on the House of Representatives to take strict measures against the foreign minister.

Following the uproar, the ministry released another statement reiterating Iraq’s support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Iraqi ministry “confirms Iraq’s historic and fundamental stance on the Palestinian cause and supporting the rights of the Palestinian people to liberate their land and their people and to establish an independent state with al-Quds as its capital,” the media office of the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also said that “Iraq supports Arab and international peace initiatives, including the Arab Peace Initiative, which was presented at the Beirut summit in 2002 and has become a permanent item on the agenda of subsequent Arab summits,” it added.

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