Friday, February 16, 2007

VP Hashemi calls for inclusion of Sunni 'resistance' in political process, says U.S. 'failed to run the country'

Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, is one of two Vice Presidents. The use of the term 'resistance' is anethma to Shiite politicians, who refer to Sunni insurgents as terrorists, extremists and Saddamists. Hashemi also said 'The honorable and genuine resistance has paid a price to safeguard the dignity of Iraq and its unity through three years.'

BAGHDAD, Iraq: Sunni insurgents who are "honorable and genuine" must be given the chance to join the political process now that the United States is anxious to pull its troops from Iraq, the country's Sunni vice president said in an interview published Friday.

Tariq al-Hashemi told the Arabic language daily Al-Hayat that U.S. and Iraqi representatives must negotiate "with the participation of the resistance" after "America has failed to run the country."

Furthermore, al-Hashemi said that "the honorable national resistance" must adopt "a new ideology to manage the crisis."

Al-Hashemi, leader of the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party, has in recent months been sharply critical of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki over his alleged reluctance to move against Shiite militias linked to sectarian killings.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

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