Talabani sees Sunni bloc in govt, Allawi pessimistic

PARIS - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Tuesday a power-sharing government agreed after months of wrangling would be set up and the violence that has plagued the country would end.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 17 Nov 2010, 10:40 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:15 AM

But Iyad Allawi, leader of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc that is a key participant, said in London that the new government was not a true power-sharing arrangement and would not last long.

Their differing views on the prospects for the new government reflected the problems that have dogged talks between Shias, Sunnis and Kurds since elections in March, amid fears of renewed sectarian violence if negotiations broke down.

Talabani said it was not clear whether Allawi, who said last week that power-sharing between the three communities was “dead”, would join the new administration.

“We have nominated him to be chief of the national policy council ... It’s a very important position, but I don’t know about him (joining),” Talabani told Reuters after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Paris.

Talabani, a Kurd, said Iraqiya’s leadership had now “assured” him it would participate in the political process. “It will happen and the violence will end,” he predicted.

Allawi, interviewed in London, said he did not expect the accord to lead to a stable government because it would not be the power-sharing administration it had been portrayed as.

“The formula for power sharing has been distorted and the issue of devolution has been distorted so I am not sure whether a coherent government (can be formed),” he told Reuters.

“Still we have some time to discuss issues and to see if this will happen or not,” he added. Asked if the government could last long, he replied “No”.


He said he would not join a new cabinet. “I am not going to be part, in any case, of the council of ministers. It is not currently suggested or offered or the Iraqiya list want me to be a member”.

He said he had not decided whether to accept the new senior role offered to him.

Allawi played down the walkout from parliament by members of his bloc last week, saying the disagreements behind it had been settled.

Allawi, who said he was in London for his daughter’s wedding, added that he would not return to Baghdad for the opening of parliament on Nov. 21.

Iraq needs a stable government to rebuild infrastructure and exploit its vast oil wealth while violence ebbs, seven years after the US-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

Under the power-sharing deal, politicians divided the three top posts — prime minister, president and speaker of parliament — among the main ethnic and sectarian political blocs.

Talibani, asked if the Kurds had cut a deal to join the government by possibly gaining the oil ministry or sealing an agreement on oil exports from the Kurdish region, reiterated that Iraq’s oil was a national resource.

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