U.N. chief presses Iraq's leaders to reconcile once Mosul won | Reuters

BAGHDAD United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday urged Iraq's leaders to reconcile the country's religious communities once Islamic State is defeated in Mosul, the last major Iraqi city under the militants' control.Guterres, who met Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, made his trip as aid agencies struggle to cope with an exodus of residents from Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. He said protecting civilians was an "absolute priority".

He called on Iraq's leaders to build "a State in which all communities respect each other and reconciliation becomes something natural", according to a U.N. statement. Iraq's Sunni Arabs resent the control of the Shi'ite majority over state bodies including the military, established after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Meanwhile, the Kurds, who backed that invasion, are in conflict with the Shi'ite-led government over land and oil resources.

Islamic State overran about a third of Iraq in 2014, benefiting from the Sunni-Shi'ite rift that weakened the army.Iraqi forces have won back control of most cities that fell to the ultra-hardline Sunni group, and have been battling to recapture Mosul since October, with the backing of a U.S.-led coalition.The militants have been dislodged from nearly three quarters of the city but they remain in control of the densely populated old centre. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Richard Lough)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Mar 30, 2017 22:34 PM

Also Watch

It's A Wrap: Omerta star Rajkummar Rao in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 In the Kanjarbhat community, a campaign against 'virginity tests' is slowly gaining ground
  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 Watch: National-level skater and coach Dhwanit Rele trains and nurtures budding athletes
  • Monday, May 14, 2018 FOMO Episode 1: Google Assistant, This is America, Sonam's wedding & Global Warming
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See