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Crisis is `life-threatening for Iraq`: UN envoy

AFP | Last Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 16:19

Baghdad: A week-long militant offensive that has overrun swathes of Iraq is "life-threatening" and is the biggest threat to its sovereignty in many years, the UN envoy to Baghdad told AFP.

"Right now, it`s life-threatening for Iraq but it poses a serious danger to the region," Nickolay Mladenov said in an interview on Monday.

"Therefore, there needs to be a realisation in the region. The Iraq crisis must be solved by the Iraqis but they cannot do that without the international community and the constructive cooperation of the region."

He added that "Iraq faces the biggest threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity" in years.

Mladenov, the special representative of the UN secretary general, told AFP the "national crisis" had strained relations between the country`s three main communities -- Shiite Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

"The political dynamics of the country have changed," he said, speaking in his office.

Militants, lead by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), have taken control of all of one province and parts of three others north of Baghdad in a swift offensive in which they have said they intend to advance on Baghdad.

First Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 16:19
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