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Iraqi PM urges all Iraqi factions to coexist to maintain victory over IS militants
Last Updated: 2017-07-11 14:28 | Xinhua
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday called on all Iraqi factions to coexist to maintain the recent victories over the extremist Islamic State (IS) militants and to thwart their plots to divide the Iraqi people.

"The natural response to Daesh (IS group) is to live together. Our ambition is that all displaced people from all religions, ethnic groups and sects, including our brothers the Christians, will return to their homes in Mosul," Abadi said in a statement by his office after his meeting with a delegation of Mosul's Christian residents.

"The coexistence of the sons of Nineveh province must prevail. Our (social) diversity is a pride for us, and it must be preserved by thwarting Daesh plots that wanted to tear apart the unity of Iraqis who preserved their coexistence for thousands of years," Abadi said.

"Our duty is to protect all the citizens and provide services to them regardless of their backgrounds. I am, as an official, responsible for dealing with all Iraqis," the statement quoted Abadi as saying.

On Sunday, Abadi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, paid a visit to Mosul and held meetings with the military commanders before he made a tour in the eastern side of Mosul, where hundreds of people welcomed his presence.

Late on Sunday, Abadi said "the victory is guaranteed" and the remnants of IS group are "besieged in the last inches," according to a statement by his office.

"It is a matter of time to declare to our people the great victory," Abadi added.

Abadi's comments, apparently, came as part of his efforts to reassure the Iraqi factions that living together and better future is possible for Iraq.

Liberating Mosul from the occupation of IS militant group is seen as a great victory for Iraq's anti-terror war, though the war-torn country will face grave challenges of national reconstruction and reconciliation.

Mosul, the capital city of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh and the second largest city, had been taken as the de facto capital of the Islamic State.

The victory opened doors for the much-needed reconstruction and national reconciliation, as desired by most Iraqis after suffering from wars and conflicts for so long.

Mosul, 400 km north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, came under IS control since June 2014, when government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.

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