Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Iraqi politicians react positively to Petraeus' report

(Gulf News) - Most of the Iraqi political elite have expressed their relief at the long-awaited testimony of General David Petraeus and the American Ambassador in Baghdad Ryan Crocker to the US Congress debating Iraq's situation. Omar Abdul Sattar, a prominent leader in the Sunni Islamic Party of the Accordance Front, told Gulf News: "As for General Petraeus' testimony about the security situation in Iraq, the General managed to put the facts and he expressed them so accurately unlike Ambassador Crocker."
He added: "Americans, according to Petraeus, succeeded in the Sunni Al Anbar province and formed local leaders to fight Al Qaida and this is a significant security achievement and I think Americans will go ahead after the testimony to enhance the formation of a local leader policy to maintain security in Iraq."

The former Minster of Culture in the Kurdistan region, Sami Shorish close to Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, told Gulf News: "Iraqi leaders, especially the Kurds, are very optimistic about the Petraeus-Crocker report unlike the Baker-Hamilton report particularly on what General Petraeus said about a significant improvement in the security situation in Baghdad and Al Anbar provinces." We were also optimistic about statements concerning the Syrian-Iranian threat (to Iraqi stability), he added.
Abu Akbar Al Saadi, a prominent leader in the Supreme Islamic Council led by Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, told Gulf News: "The report was balanced and General Petraeus was successful in determining the main factors to maintain the security situation and there are indeed security achievements on the ground, especially changing the Iraqi Sunni attitude against Al Qaida, besides Petraeus' remarks concerning Iran and Syria represent a conformist view with the Iraqi government because the neighbouring countries have an important role in sustaining security and stability in Iraq."
Notably most of Iraq's political elites are satisfied with the Petraeus testimony for two reasons, firstly his remarks about progress regarding the security situation, and secondly: his praise of the role of Iraqi security forces in addressing terrorism.
Hashim Al Hashimi, a leader in the Fadhila Party, told Gulf News: "I affirmed what General Petraeus mentioned about achieving security progress but what Ambassador Crocker said was confusing about the political situation."
Talal Al Saadi, a leader in the Shiite Sadr trend, told Gulf News: "The Petraeus-Crocker report does not mean anything to the trend. The important thing to us is to schedule the American troops' withdrawal from Iraq. As for the security situation in the Al Anbar Province, I think it is a fallacy because the Americans armed former members of Al Qaida to strike Al Qaida and this is a dangerous matter and will cause catastrophe to Iraq."

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