Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat – Informed Iraqi sources reported that US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman, who arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday, was set to put forward a number of political scenarios on how to form the next Iraqi government.
The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that among the scenarios to be proposed by Feltman is a power sharing scenario between Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition and Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc which would see terms of office being alternated between the two. Another political scenario, according to sources, would see Nuri al-Maliki serve as President of Iraq, with Iyad Allawi succeeding him as prime minister, and a Kurdish Alliance candidate being appointed Iraqi parliamentary speaker. The sources said that Feltman would listen to all sides and put forward his preferred option, however the sources also stressed that Feltman had no authority to “impose” this upon the Iraqi leadership.
Senior Iraqiya bloc member Adnan Aldenbos told Asharq Al-Awsat that a meeting was scheduled to take place yesterday evening between the US Assistant Secretary of State and a number of Iraqiya bloc senior members. He stressed that “until now, we have not been able to find out what the US representative will put forward.” Aldenbos also revealed that he will be part of the Iraqiya bloc delegation that is set to meet with Feltman, and that “we will carry a single clear and explicit message and that is that the Iraqiya bloc is unequivocally resolute towards its constitutional rights (to form the next government).” He added “we are resolute in our respect of democracy, and we will not give up our right [to form] the [next] government, or our [prime ministerial] candidate Iyad Allawi. This is not Allawi’s demand, but the demand of the Iraqiya bloc and the Iraqi people.”
Nouri al-Maliki met with Jeffrey Feltman on Tuesday evening, during which the two men discussed the relations between Iraq and the US, recent political developments in Iraq, and the preparations that are taking place to form the next Iraqi government following the first parliamentary session. Al-Maliki said that “dialogues are taking place in a normal fashion towards speeding up the formation of the [next] government, and the sensitive period that Iraq is going through requires flexibility and ensuring that national interests prevail over all other interests.” He added “an agreement must be reached over the three presidencies [the presidency, the premiership, and the office of parliamentary speaker].”
For his part, Feltman reiterated America’s support for the political and democratic process, and the efforts being exerted by the political blocs to form a government, and their commitment to a timetable in accordance with the Security Agreement concluded between Iraq and the US.
Al-Maliki also received a letter from British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday which was conveyed by Christian Turner, the Deputy Director for MENA at the British Foreign Ministry Christian Turner. The letter underlined British commitment to strengthening ties between the two countries, as well as Britain’s support for strengthening Iraqi security, stability, and development.
For his part, a senior member of the State of Law coalition, Abdul Hadi al-Hassani told Asharq Al-Awsat that no political scenarios have yet to be presented, and because Iraq can deal with its own problems as “there is a constitution, laws, a parliament, and federal courts to decide this matter.”