Sunday, January 09, 2005

Iraq's most powerful Sunni group will participate in the county's upcoming elections if the U.S. set a timeframe for a full withdrawal, a spokesman for the group said. Members of the influential Association of Muslim Scholars conveyed their demand to a top U.S. Embassy official at a meeting Saturday, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity. (Assyrian International News Agency) Another version of this story from AP.

The first survey of Iraqi women since the outbreak of the war was released today by Women for Women International, one of the few non-governmental organizations remaining in Baghdad. The groundbreaking survey paints a vivid and even surprising portrait of Iraqi women in transition and dispels the prevailing notion that women believe tradition, customs or religion should limit their participation in the formation of a new Iraqi government. The results of the survey of 1,000 Iraqi women in Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra, major political and commercial centers in Iraq, was unveiled in a report entitled “Windows of Opportunity: The Pursuit of Gender Equality in Post-War Iraq.” (Women for Women International)

The upcoming Iraqi elections won't bring an end to the insurgency in Iraq, but it's critical that they proceed as planned, Secretary of State Colin Powell said today on CNN's "Late Edition. Powell, speaking from Nairobi, Kenya, said the coalition, the United Nations, the interim Iraqi government, and most importantly, the Iraqi people, support sticking to the Jan. 30 timetable for the elections. (US DoD)

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