Friday, August 17, 2007


Four major political parties sign agreement to revive Iraqi political process as Sunni party leader warns of setting up "counter coalitions"

(Voices of Iraq) - A leading figure from the Sunni Islamic Party expressed on Thursday reservation over a new Kurdish-Shiite alliance that announced earlier today in Baghdad, warning of setting up what he described as "counter coalitions." "We, the Islamic Party, express our reservation on the new alliance and we see that it is too early to confirm whether it will work out or not," Omar Abdul Sattar told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) by telephone.
The politician said "yesterday (Wednesday) we had a meeting with the two Kurdish parties (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party) to discuss the political situation and the possible means to rescue the country from the current impasse and we told them the time is premature to form such an alliance."
The leading figure whose party is a main component of the Sunni Accordance Front said "We were in need of many steps to take and more common visions to share before we could reach the compromise of a six-way alliance that would also include (former Iraqi PM) Allawi's Iraqi National List and the Islamic party, but the differences caused the alliance to be announced by four components only."
"The new alliance may lead to the formation of new counter-coalitions, which I expect will cause more deterioration in the country," said Abdul Sattar noting that "we could not correct a mistake by committing another one." Abdul Sattar, who declined to reply to a question by VOI as to whether the new alliance was meant to declare a parliamentary majority's government if Accordance ministers who quit the cabinet refused to return, commented "it is a step towards prolonging the life of al-Maliki's government."
Four major Iraqi political parties signed on Thursday an agreement, aired by al-Iraqiya satellite television, to revive the political process in Iraq. The agreement was signed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Islamic Daawa party and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC). The four parties were represented by President Jalal Talabani, President of Kurdistan region Massoud Barazani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi.
President Talabani refused to use the word “quartet” or “moderates’ bloc,” noting that they had signed an initiative to revive the political process. “We cannot call it a bloc, but rather an agreement between four parties committed to former agreements for reviving the political process,” Talabani said in a press conference attended by Nouri al-Maliki, Barazani and Abdul Mahdi.
“We tried to made contact with the Iraqi Islamic Party in an attempt to involve it in the agreement, but it said that the circumstances were not appropriate,” he added. “The bloc consists of four parties now but it is open for all parties to take part in it,” Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said. “We will try to revive the stagnant political process; we will not accept it to be hampered. The agreement is not a replacement of the political blocs, the door is open for all to participate,” the premier explained.

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