Sunday, August 12, 2007

Iraqi PM Trying To Salvage Government

Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki, has called for a summit of the nation's main political factions in an attempt to break Iraq's political paralysis.

source: BBC

I have the feeling this is going to be too little too late.

In recent weeks almost all Sunni members of the cabinet have quit. Others are boycotting meetings, leaving at least 17 cabinet seats empty.


"I have called the political leaders for a meeting to discuss the main issues in the political process. The first meeting may happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," Mr Maliki announced on Sunday.

A senior Kurdish leader, Massoud Barzani, has already arrived in Baghdad for the talks.


Many Iraqi MPs are not in the Iraqi capital at present because parliament is in its summer recess, which does not end until next month.

Mr Maliki has been unable to push forward with his plans for national reconciliation without the support of the country's various factions.


But despite summoning leaders from all sides for talks, there is no indication that Mr Maliki is willing to make any concessions towards them, Richard Galpin says.

Mr Maliki said he wanted Sunni Arabs to play a role, but warned that if the Accord Front was not ready to rejoin, he would bring in others.

"There are people who have come forward and offered to be an alternative," the prime minister said.

There was speculation he could be referring to tribal sheikhs in western Iraq who have allied with the government and led a Sunni backlash against al-Qaeda insurgents.

Actually bringing in the Sheikhs may be a good thing. They have a least shown an ability to deliver and I bet it may put a little pressure on the Sadr crowd to start snapping into line.

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