Sadrists would support no confidence vote for Iraq PM

Updated 31 May 2012
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Sadrists would support no confidence vote for Iraq PM

BAGHDAD: Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr said yesterday that his parliamentary bloc would back a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki if that gave it the support of a majority of MPs.
In the latest twist in a political crisis that has dogged Iraq ever since US troops completed a pullout in December, Sadr denied that he opposed moves by MPs of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya faction to bring down the Shiite premier. “This is not true,” Sadr said in a written answer to a question from one of his followers.
“I promised my partners that if they got 124 votes, I will complete the 164 votes,” he added, referring to the 40 MPs who belong to his parliamentary bloc.
Under the Iraqi constitution, a no confidence motion can be put before parliament either by the president or by 50 MPs. To pass, it must be approved by an absolute majority in the 325-seat Parliament.
Al-Maliki’s critics in Iraqiya, who accuse him of monopolizing decision-making in the hard-won national unity government, have called in recent weeks for a vote on a motion of no confidence in the premier after the party abandoned an earlier boycott of both Parliament and the Cabinet.
FROM: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE


UAE to rebuild Iraq’s iconic Mosul mosque destroyed in Daesh fight

Updated 1 min 50 sec ago
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UAE to rebuild Iraq’s iconic Mosul mosque destroyed in Daesh fight

  • UAE donates over $50mn to reconstruct Mosul’s Great Mosque of Al-Nuri
  • The five-year project aims to give hope to Iraqi youths

BAGHDAD: The United Arab Emirates and Iraq on Monday launched a joint effort to reconstruct Mosul’s Great Mosque of Al-Nuri and its iconic leaning minaret, ravaged last year during battles to retake the city from militants.
During the ceremony at Baghdad’s National Museum, UAE Culture Minister Noura Al-Kaabi said her country would put forward $50.4 million (41.2 million euros) for the task.
“The five-year project is not just about rebuilding the mosque, the minaret and the infrastructure, but also about giving hope to young Iraqis,” she said.
“The millenia-old civilization must be preserved.”
The deal was signed by Kaabi and her Iraqi counterpart, Faryad Rawanduzi, in the presence of UNESCO’s Iraq representative Louise Haxthausen.
“This is an ambitious, highly symbolic project for the resurrection of Mosul and Iraq,” said Haxthausen.
“The work has already begun, the site is now protected... we must first clear the site, remove the rubble (and) document, before we can begin reconstructing the mosque and its minaret.”
The famed 12th century mosque and its leaning minaret — dubbed “the hunchback,” or Al-Habda, by locals — was destroyed in June 2017.
The Iraqi army accused Daesh militants of destroying it with explosives as Iraqi forces steadily retook ground in the embattled city.
It was in this mosque in 2014 that Daesh’s self-proclaimed “caliph,” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, made his only public appearance as leader. His whereabouts are still unknown.
Kaabi, the Emirati minister, called on the international community “to unite to protect universal heritage sites, especially those in our Arab region” in theaters of conflict.
The Al-Nuri mosque is named after Nureddine Al-Zinki, who once ruled over Aleppo and Mosul and ordered the construction of the mosque in 1172.
Al-Habda, which maintained the same structure for nine centuries, was one of the only remnants of the original construction.
Decorated with geometric brick designs, the minaret was long a symbol of the city.
It was printed on 10,000 Iraqi dinar banknotes before it became a symbol of Daesh rule, when the militants planted their black flag at the top of its 45-meter spire.
“This is a historic partnership, the largest and unprecedented cooperation to rebuild cultural heritage in Iraq ever,” UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in a statement.
The first year of reconstruction will focus on documenting and clearing the site, UNESCO said.
The following four years will focus on the restoration and “faithful reconstruction” of the mosque, its minaret as well as the city’s historic gardens and open spaces.