Sunni leaders open to joining Iraq government if conditions met

Reuters reports: Tribal leaders and clerics from Iraq’s Sunni Muslim heartland who rebelled against outgoing premier Nuri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government are willing to join the new administration if certain conditions are met, a spokesman said on Friday.

One of Iraq’s most powerful Sunni tribal leaders said he was ready to work with the new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, provided he protected the rights of the minority sect, which was marginalized by Maliki.

In a television appearance, Ali Hatem Suleiman, head of the Dulaimi tribe that dominates the Sunni heartland Anbar province, said a decision on whether or not to fight the Sunni Islamic State insurgents who threaten to break up Iraq would come later.

Abadi faces the daunting task of pacifying Anbar, where Sunni frustrations with Maliki’s sectarian policies have goaded some to join the radical Islamic State insurrection.

Taha Mohammed Al-Hamdoon, the spokesman for tribal and clerical leaders, said Sunni representatives in Anbar and other provinces had drawn up a list of demands to be delivered to the moderate Shi’ite Abadi through Sunni politicians.

He called for government and Shi’ite militia forces to suspend hostilities to allow space for talks.

“It is not possible for any negotiations to be held under barrel bombs and indiscriminate bombing,” Hamdoon said in a telephone interview with Reuters. “Let the bombing stop and withdraw and curtail the (Shi’ite) militias until there is a solution for the wise men in these areas.” [Continue reading…]

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