Iraq urges release of Palestinians in Israeli jails
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Iraq urges release of Palestinians in Israeli jails

PM Nouri al-Maliki says world uses double standard when it comes to Jewish state

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki, right, and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, left, attend the International conference in solidarity with Palestinian, Arab prisoners, and detainees in Israel, in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 11 (photo credit: AP/Karim Kadim)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki, right, and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, left, attend the International conference in solidarity with Palestinian, Arab prisoners, and detainees in Israel, in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 11 (photo credit: AP/Karim Kadim)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister has called on the international community to demand an immediate release of Palestinian and Arab prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Nouri al-Maliki’s statement on Tuesday came at the start of a two-day conference in Baghdad dedicated to the fate of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Iraq agreed to host the event after holding an Arab League summit in March.

Maliki assailed what he called the international community’s double standards as it backed the region’s Arab Spring uprisings against “autocrats and tyrants” but ignored the issue of jailed Palestinians.

Thousands of Palestinians are held in Israeli jails.

The Baghdad conference reflects Iraq’s ambition to play a larger role in regional issues after nearly a decade of isolation and war.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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