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Iraq’s leaders set to sign honor code in the absence of Talabani - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In this 2007 file photo, Iraq's President Jalal Talabani talks to reporters in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban, File)

In this 2007 file photo, Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani talks to reporters in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban, File)

Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iraqi Vice-President Khodair Al-Khozaei has announced that the leaders of Iraq and the country’s political blocs will sign a “national honor code” on Thursday, in an attempt to end the country’s political crisis, saying at the same time that President Jalal Talabani is making a steady recovery.

Controversy continues to surround the health of Talabani, who has remained hospitalized in Germany ever since he suffered a stroke eight months ago.

“The political blocs will sign on Thursday an honor code regarding social peace at the headquarters of the presidency,” Khozaei said in a press conference on Monday.

The vice-president said that the event will be held in a “conference attended by the leaders of the country, representatives of the political blocs in addition to intellectuals, religious clerics, tribal figures representing the whole spectrum of the political arena.”

“The Prime Minster Nouri Al-Maliki, the speaker of the parliament Osma Al-Nujaifi, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Al-Mutlaq, the President of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Massoud Barzani and the blocs in the National Alliance, the Iraqi Islamic Party, the Kurdistan Alliance have all confirmed that they would sign this code.”

“The conference will work to find the appropriate solutions for the pending crises and problems gripping the country,” Khozaei said, adding, “The conference will form a mini committee representing the blocs that will sign the code to ensure easing the problems and crises within a constitutional framework.”

The leader of the Iraqi National List Iyad Allawi was reported to have confirmed that he would not attend the meeting, denying any knowledge of the honor code and refusing to sign it.

Allawi was reported to have said that instead of signing a new code, all Iraqi parties should adhere to 2010 Erbil Agreement that paved the way for the formation of the current government three years ago.

Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat an MP for the State of Law Coalition (SLC) Khalid Al-Asadi said: “The National Honor code…represents a road map to solving the country’s political crisis with the support of everybody.”

“In order to give the honor code the importance it deserves, the National Alliance, which is the country’s largest parliamentary and political bloc, have adopted it,” he added.

Asadi continued: “All of the political powers have been briefed on its content, and they have welcomed it on the basis that everybody wants dialogue as a way to solving problems and crises.”

For its part, the Kurdistan Alliance played down the signing of the honor code, saying that it would not supersede existing laws or the Iraqi constitution.