Friday, October 21, 2005

Outlook India (London): Iraq, After The Constitution. A reader asks: The successful adoption of a federal constitution in Iraq is a notable achievement. But will it help maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq as it has existed since 1921, an end to violence or flowering of democracy? [...]

Reuters: Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who has said Iraq is on the verge of civil war, held talks with Iraqi leaders on Thursday on a tough mission to promote national reconciliation in a country ravaged by violence. On his first postwar visit to Iraq, the former Egyptian diplomat met Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari and was also expected to hold talks with President Jalal Talabani and leading Shi’ite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Arab states such as Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia have complained that non-Arab Shi’ite Iran is gaining influence in Iraq to the detriment of regional stability. Arab commentators have also said the draft constitution weakens Iraq’s Arab identity. For his part, Moussa, a veteran Egyptian diplomat, has criticised what he says is a lack of any strategy to reconcile Iraq’s rival communities.