Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Arab League to push Iraqi government for political deal with Sunni opponents

The Arab League is an organization made up of representatives of 19 states, plus members of the PLO. It was formed in 1945 through the encouragement of the British. It focuses on economic and political issues in the Arab world.

CAIRO, Egypt: Arabs plan to push the Iraqi government to add a political component to its latest security effort in Baghdad by including Sunni opponents in the government, an Arab League senior official said Wednesday.

Ahmed ben Heli, the League's undersecretary general, said he is leading the body's delegation to a Baghdad meeting on Saturday to push the neighboring Arab countries' demands.

"We support the Iraqi government's efforts to achieve security, but there should a political plan to deal with the situation," ben Heli told reporters in Cairo.

On Sunday, Arab foreign ministers said the Iraqi government should redraft its constitution and rescind laws that give preferential treatment to Shiites and Kurds. Their statement was the strongest sign yet from the mostly Sunni Muslim Arab governments in the Middle East that they blame the Shiite-led Iraqi government for the country's sectarian strife.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

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