Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New steps proposed to bridge sectarian divide in Iraq

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, and President, Jalal Talabani, announced a plan Monday aimed to help reconcile Sunnis and Shiites, according to The New York Times Tuesday. “There is a real struggle going on in the Sunni Arab part of Iraq between those of Al Qaeda and the other more patriotic groups who want a successful Iraq, an Iraq in which everyone’s rights is respected,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, American Ambassador to Iraq.

The plan is set to allow thousands of former members of the Baath Party to serve under the current administration, after each signs a pledge not to make political statements about the current Iraqi government. Baathists are also permitted to collect pensions under the new plan. The plan is anticipated to draw together Shiites, who lead the current government, and Sunnis, who led under Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The proposal comes at a time when American skepticism is low in regards to the Iraqi administration’s dedication to changing the de-Baathification laws to help end violence, said Khalilzad. “To sustain U.S. support, things have to move at a certain pace,” he said, adding that time is running out.

For the full article, click here.


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