For Iraqi Unity and Stability

  • 5 August 2009

The recent visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to the Kurdistan region is an important step for its policy of openness toward political forces, and the establishment of an active and constructive dialogue over how to deal with the challenges that threaten the security and stability of Iraq. The positive results emerged from the agreement on forming of a mechanism and a timeframe for solving all outstanding issues between the region and the central government in Baghdad, confirms that what is actually needed in Iraq now is a national dialogue between its various political forces in order to function actively and positively with the exigencies of this stage, and the challenges involved therein. It is well known that there are disputes between the Kurdistan region and the central government over oil-related issues, and over the city of Kirkuk. The formation of a mechanism to solve these disputes is a positive move because it would tackle one of the most serious and complex problems which are facing Iraq at present.

There is no doubt that approach taken by the Iraqi Prime Minister during this visit, and his assertion that "challenges facing the political process in Iraq require honesty between each other, and carrying out of meetings for such" marks an invitation to active dialogue, that requires positive interaction among all Iraqi sects and forces; as experience has shown that the national dialogue, which leads to consensus on various issues is the main guarantor of the unity and stability of Iraq.

Therefore, the national dialogue is the means to end any differences that may be amplified if it is left without discussion between the parties. It also forms a buffer against the groups and forces that are trying to pre-empt any initiative at political reconciliation, and blow up the Iraqi arena once again and wipe out the gains achieved over the past two years. The marked escalation of violence observed in recent times is an important indicator that has its connotations, especially as these operations target all regions, and makes all Iraqis; Sunnis, Shiite, Kurds and Christians. This requires further national consensus among various forces, movements and communities, and not to allow any disputes of whatever severity, to harm the sovereignty of Iraq, or to put all Iraqi sect, ethnics groups and regions in confrontation with each other.

There is an urgent need to achieve national consensus on major issues that relates to the future of Iraq, and the nature of its political system, as well as to form a relationship between its sects, until the domestic front is secured against any attempts by the groups and forces that seek to gain benefits by promoting a turbulent and unstable Iraq.

Iraqis have embraced in accordance with legal and common institutional framework, which has been adopted since 2003, to live in harmony within one united and consolidated country. This must be confirmed to uphold the values of a national consideration rather than ethnic and regional considerations, which is imperative to put aside in order to preserve Iraq's unity and stability.