Iraqi Ambassador Says Iraq Putting Final Touches on Compromise

Yesterday, on CNN’s Late Edition, Iraqi Ambassador to the United States spoke with Wolf Blitzer about the political situation in Iraq:

BLITZER: So you’re leaving New York, moving to Washington. This is your first interview as the Iraqi ambassador to the United States.

SUMAIDAIE: That’s correct.

BLITZER: Let’s talk about this impasse. You heard Aneesh Raman report that it could take maybe even another month. It looks like the impasse is getting even worse as Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the interim prime minister, holds on to his — tries to hold on to that slot.

SUMAIDAIE: I don’t believe it will take as long as Aneesh has suggested. I have good reason for optimism. First, there is total consensus that whatever government emerges will be a national unity government. By definition, this means that the government that everybody has a stake in and everybody supports.

In this process, it is complicated, of course, and there is a lot at stake. As we talk now, people I know are huddled together to put the final touches on a compromise that is emerging.

BLITZER: But the compromise, a lot of Kurdish leaders have told me in recent weeks they don’t want Ibrahim al-Jaafari to be the prime minister. A lot of the Sunni leaders have said the same thing. And even now some of the Shiite political factions have said they think someone else would be better suited to be the prime minister of this new Iraq. Is this compromise that you’re talking about a compromise that would eliminate Ibrahim al-Jaafari as the prime minister?

SUMAIDAIE: Well, it’s a compromise which will give the Shiite bloc which has won the greatest number of seats in parliament, will give them — will keep with them the right to appoint or nominate the prime minister. And I believe there is intensive consultation within that bloc to come up with a solution that will satisfy all the other blocs as well as keep their unity together.

BLITZER: Does that compromise mean someone else other than Ibrahim al-Jaafari?

SUMAIDAIE: It is likely that this will happen. And I think we can expect within the next day or two some move in that direction.

BLITZER: Who would be — give us a name or two.

SUMAIDAIE: A number of names have been mentioned. But leading amongst them is Ali al Adib, who is from al-Jaafari’s own party.

Iraq the Model takes a look at the 9 open posts and who are the likely contenders.

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