Saturday, July 01, 2006

Financial Times (UK): Iraq's national reconciliation initiative has paved the way for government contacts with insurgents and should be seen as only a first step towards a political solution to the conflict, according to Iraq's vice-president. Adel Abdel-Mehdi, senior Shia official and vice-president in the new government, told the Financial Times that other measures would follow the plan unveiled last Sunday and deemed by many analysts to be vague and incomplete. In an interview during a visit to London, Mr Abdel-Mehdi said contacts with insurgents had been going on for some time but the reconciliation plan had now made dialogue an official policy. He also left the door open to a broadening of an am-nesty offer after Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister, this week insisted it would exclude anyone who had killed American troops or Iraqis. [...]