Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has claimed that some Arab regimes were afraid of democracy because they "mimicked" the dictatorship of the late president Saddam Hussein. "I know why they oppose us, because they fear extension of democracy to their shores. They have this fear because they are a copy of the dictatorship which ruled Iraq," Maliki told Iraqi military commanders Tuesday.
Stressing that Iraq was a unified state, Maliki called on its neighbours to solve their own issues before meddling in Iraqi issues. "Let the Arab countries look at their own people first. I urge them to see how they treat their majority and minority before they talk about our people," he said in an address broadcast on state-run Al-Iraqiya television and cited by AFP.
"We are unified, be it Shiites, Sunnis or Kurds and Christians. In fact the terrorists are unifying us in blood as they kill everybody," Maliki said.
The Iraqi leader also warned Arab states to stop aiding "terrorists" who have unleashed a wave of bloodshed in Iraq. "We were hoping that our brothers in neighbouring countries will be happy after our liberation from dictatorship, but unfortunately it seems they prefer to live with dictatorship in the region."