Historic Iraqi Security Agreement Between Al Sadr and Sunnis

The following is an article from the Iraqi independent news agency Aswat Al-Iraq (“Voices of Iraq”- VOI) on January 28, 2007:

Sadrists, Islamic Party ink deal to maintain security
By Wathiq Ismael

Baghdad, Jan 28, (VOI) – The Sadrist bloc, or members of parliament loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Iraqi Islamic Party (Sunni Party) signed an agreement to set up joint committees in the areas inhabited by a mix of Shiites and Sunnis with the aim of preserving security and cooperating with Iraqi security forces, according to Bahaa al-Aaraji, a Sadrist member of parliament, on Sunday.

“A meeting was held on Saturday between Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (Sunni Kurd), his deputy Tareq al-Hashimi (Sunni Araba), the Secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party and a leading figure of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF), and al-Aaraji to discuss a host of issues and mechanisms pertaining to the security situation in general and the Baghdad security plan expected to be carried out soon,” Aaraji told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

A statement issued by the Iraqi vice president’s office read “Aaraji has briefed Hashimi on proposals regarding the Sadrist bloc’s position on the security plan, to be in effect during the next few days.”

The statement quoted Aaraji as saying, “If the proposals deliberated in the meeting materialized, it would be a historic juncture undoubtedly improving security conditions, especially in Baghdad.”

“The parties in the meeting agreed to hold further ones in the future,” the statement pointed out, adding “Hashimi has encouraged the Sadrists to adopt stands in important but still pending issues showing the Sadrist bloc’s keenness on helping stop the vicious circle of violence.”

“Aaraji promised to study and reply to these proposals,” the statement added.
Aaraji, however, declined to speak on these issues but hinted, “one of them is about the armed militias.”

Haider Ajina comments,

It appears from this article that Sunni & Shiite Arabs in the Iraqi government and Parliament are beginning to sit together and hash out a security plan.

By the way, both these groups have militia or armed members in them. This is why this meeting is significant. As you may have read, last week the members of Parliament loyal to Muqtada have returned to their seats after boycotting the parliament since December. They returned with no (apparent) conditions.

A few days ago, these same Sadarists announced that they fully support, with no reservations, the new security plan for Baghdad, which includes the increase in U.S. and Iraqi troops in Baghdad. The Sadarits camp has definitely had a change of policy and rhetoric. They are calling for not attacking coalition troops, not retaliating for Sunni Bomb attacks and for allowing the Iraqi and coalition security forces to implement security via the new plan. All this is quite encouraging.

If the Mahdi army stands down then the Arab Sunnis will have no reason to feel threatened and that excuse will be nullified. By the way, Iraq’s president Jelal Talibani (a Sunni Kurd) said in an interview to a, London based, that over 70% of the victims of the violence in 2006 in Iraq have been Shiites. This shows the lopsidedness of the violence in Iraq. Most of the attacks are by the former Baathists and Al Qaeda in Iraq (both predominantly if not totally Sunni groups) as they continue the car bomb campaign against Iraqis and coalition forces mostly in Baghdad and north west of Baghdad. Many moderate Iraqi Arab Sunni leaders are condemning these attacks when ever they occur.

Haider Ajina

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