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Former Iraqi PM Warns of Escalating Sectarian Divisions - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat – Warning of the dangers of escalating sectarian divisions, former Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi on Monday urged political parties represented in the government to disband their militias.

Criticizing the Shi”a- led government of Ibrahim al Jaafari, Allawi said it was failing to heal postwar wounds among ethnic and sectarian groups and was allowing powerful-armed groups linked to Shi”a parties within the government to hold sway.

Allawi who was interim prime minister from June 2004 until an elected government took over in April, gained a reputation as a tough politician with security as his main trump card.

Speaking to Reuters news agency in the Jordanian capital, the politician said “The situation is going from bad to worse. The government should find a solution for the current crisis in Iraq in conjunction with political parties and coalitions of which we are part. We are all ready to support the government but only as part of a national program which shies away from religious, sectarian, and national fanaticism”, he added.

Instead, Allawi said, “we need a political program that believes in Iraq and in a united Iraqi society.”

In a related development, the Saudi council of ministers expressed its hope on Monday that all concerned parties realize that the region would benefit from a united Arab and Islamic Iraq which represents all its people and communities and is not subjected to foreign intervention in its internal affairs.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Party of Iraq, welcomed the statements of Saudi Foreign minister Prince Saud al Faisal, on the current situation in Iraq, where he warned against the disintegration of the country and Iranian meddling. According to a party official, the minister’s view adequately summarized the problems facing the Iraqi people and was based on a realistic analysis of the dangers confronting the country.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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