Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Will Barzani's initiative resolve the Iraqi crisis?

Following months of speculation there appears to be hope for reconciliation among the Iraqi factions. President of Kurdistan Region Masood Barzani has proposed holding a National Conference in Erbil at the end of the month inviting the various Iraqi political groups to discuss the deteriorating political situation in the country. Some say this move was initiated by US Ambassador to Iraq who has been in talks with Barzani to make a move towards National Dialogue.  

The proposal was met by overwhelming approval from representatives of the different political groups. State of Law Coalition (SLC) led by Nuri al-Maliki expressed their support for President Barzani's initiative which is set to take place at the end of the month. Samira al-Moussawi, representative of SLC told “Shafaq News” that the party welcomed any plans to resolve the current situation provided that it is “within the framework of the Constitution and the Law”. Al-Moussawi stressed the importance of this meeting in bringing together the different political blocs to the table of dialogue and reaching a sustainable solution to solve the crisis.

Speaking to al-Hayat newspaper, Shakir al-Daraji of SLC expressed his party's willingness to participate in any initiative that would assist in taking Iraq out of its current crisis provided that there are no pre-proposed conditions by any one party. The agreement to dialogue between SLC and Barzani may be seen as a step forward towards peace and reconciliation following months of on-going battle and escalating dispute which almost led to military confrontation between the two most dominating powers in Iraq.

In a public statement, Adnan al-Mufti, representative of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party (PUK) announced that Barzani has been holding talks with delegates from the different political groups including representatives of Iraqqiya, State of Law Coalition and Sadr bloc. Evidently the meetings held in Kurdistan have led to general consensus on the importance of organizing an extended meeting for all the Iraqi groups to reach some level of agreement on the outstanding issues and conflicts through national dialogue.

In a statement posted on the Kurdistan Presidency website Barzani re-affirmed that Iraq was going through a rough period of political instability and the meeting due to be held in Erbil must result in long-term radical solutions and all political factions must demonstrate “commitment to the Constitution”. Finally, Barzani stated that “the Kurds are always part of the political solution, working full capacity to resolve outstanding problems.”

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