Saturday, September 10, 2005

Editorial from Zaman Daily (Turkey): Who lost in Iraq? Despite objections from Sunni Arabs, the constitutional draft in Iraq has been approved. The draft will be put to a public vote on October 15. If two thirds of the people reject it in at least three of Iraq’s 18 provinces, then the draft will not be accepted. The new political structure paves the way for a federal state. Kirkuk is the most controversial subject and arguments and uncertainty about this important center continue. According to the general opinion, it is the Sunnis who have lost most in this process, but if you ask me everybody has lost. [...]

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Last-minute talks among Iraqi leaders on the text of a draft constitution have ended without making amendments and printing will start on Thursday, a senior member of the parliamentary drafting team said on Tuesday. "The talks have ended. We did not reach any agreement on making changes to the draft. It will be printed in the form it was read to the National Assembly last week," Bahaa al Araji told Reuters. "No changes will be made."

President Jalal Talabani of Iraq issued a bitter rhetorical broadside against other Arab countries Monday, saying they had insulted Iraq by not sending diplomats to Baghdad and by not sending condolence letters about the stampede last week in which nearly 1,000 Shiite pilgrims were killed. (IHT)

RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) conducted an exclusive interview with Sunni Arab drafting-committee member Salih al-Mutlaq in Baghdad on 4 September. Al-Mutlaq discussed the draft constitution, and contended that if certain articles were changed, he and other Sunni Arabs would support the draft when it goes to referendum on 15 October.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Iraqi politicians said Saturday that new talks were taking place on the text of the draft constitution, following widespread calls for unity after the deadly stampede which killed nearly 1,000 Shiite pilgrims. Bridging deep divisions between Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish representatives over the proposed charter could help assuage rising sectarian tensions in the country, as grieving Shiites continued to mourn relatives lost in the tragedy. (Japan Today)