Monday, September 10, 2007


Kurdish Coalition deny contact with Baathists

(Voices of Iraq) - Two members of the Kurdistan Coalition (KC) denied on Sunday having any contacts with Baathists, adding some Kurdish politicians have met with members of the former ruling party in their personal capacity not as KC members. "There are no contacts between the KC and the Baathists and the information reported about that was not true," Friad Rawndozi, the official spokesman for the KC, the second largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament with 55 out of a total 275 seats, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
Earlier on Sunday a prominent member of former Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National List (INL) said that the KC was making contacts with Baathists, noting Allawi "was not the only one making these contacts. Everyone is denying contacts with Baathists, but there are dialogues grouping together members of the Baath Party and more than one political bloc," Nejefi told VOI by telephone.
Rawndozi indicated that "Jalal Talabani has met armed factions that have links with the dissolved Baath Party but in his capacity as president of Iraq." On Saturday, Iyad Jamal al-Din, an INL member of parliament, said he mediated between U.S. officials and Baathists belonging to former Iraqi vice president Ezzat al-Dori to boost the political process. "They were several meetings that took place inside and outside Iraq," Jamal al-Din told VOI.
He said the meetings "were convened in Arab countries." He declined to name those Arab countries or say when those meetings were held. "The meetings or negotiations were not meant against the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. On the contrary, they were supporting it and would be of benefit to the country's political process," Jamal al-Din said.
He pointed out that the Baathists, or members of the former ruling Baath (Resurrection) Party, "objected the law on debaathification and the Americans spoke to them about means to push forward the political process."
Allawi had said he met secretly with representatives from the dissolved party's Ezzat al-Dori wing with the aim of arranging their return to Iraq and participation in the political process.
"The dialogue has taken place upon the request of the United States, which was represented by high-ranking officials in those meetings. The discussions focused on how to merge the Baath Party members into the political process," Allawi said in a televised interview by the all-news Dubai-based al-Arabiya satellite channel.

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