Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says he will seek a third term in office, despite growing domestic and foreign pressure for him to step aside.
"I will never give up on my candidacy for the post of prime minister," Maliki said in a statement released on July 4.
Maliki said he will fight until the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, which has seized control of large swaths of western and northern Iraq, is defeated.
"I have vowed to God that I will continue to fight by the side of our armed forces and volunteers until we defeat the enemies of Iraq and its people."
Maliki is facing widespread criticism for the ISIL's advance. He has also been blamed by minorities for worsening ethnic tensions in the country.