Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- An informed source within the Al-Iraqiya list has revealed to Asharq Al Awsat that outgoing Iraqi Prime Minster and leader of the State of Law Coalition [SLC] Nuri al-Maliki, sent a letter to political rival and leader of the Al-Iraqiya list, Iyad Allawi, apologizing for the statements made he a few days ago in which he described the Al-Iraqiya list as a Sunni coalition, which led to the Al-Iraqiya list suspending negotiations until he apologized. The letter was delivered by the Iraqi government’s spokesmen Ali al-Dabbagh, in a meeting attended by the list’s leaders; Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi and Osama al-Nujayfi.
The source who spoke to Asharq Al Awsat on the condition of anonymity added that the list decided not to exacerbate the situation and accepted the apology letter of the SLC leader,” stressing that the “efforts now focus on convening a meeting within this week between the SCL and Al-Iraqiya leaders heralding the beginning of serious negotiations between the two sides.” However, he added that “this will not be at the expense of Al-Iraqiya’s dialogues with the Al-Sadr Trend.”
The Al-Iraqiya list has suspended the negotiations last week due to the statements that described the list as “sectarian” made by Nuri al-Maliki, who said that the Al-Iraqiya list is “a Sunni coalition, and in case a government is formed that does not include this component, this government would be unstable.” Al-Iraqiya demanded that Al-Maliki apologizes for these statements.
For his part, Al-Iraqiya member Muhammad Allawi said that “Al-Maliki has two options; he can either assumes the second post after the prime minister or accepts to stay as a member of parliament.” On the possibility of starting dialogues with the SLC anew in spite of Al-Maliki’s insistence to remain a candidate for the post of prime minister in the next government, Allawi said that “Al-Iraqiya had set a condition not to mention the name of Al-Maliki as a candidate to head the next government during the dialogues or the negotiations with it, and in case this happens, the meeting with the SLC would stop.” He stressed that Al-Iraqiya is adopting this stand since it is the bloc that has the electoral right which authorizes it to form and head the government.”
Muhammad Allawi added that the Al-Iraqiya list “is going ahead in its negotiations with the Iraqi National Alliance (led by Ammar al-Hakim) in determined steps, and the same is the case of the Kurdistan Alliance, while keeping the door open for the SLC to take what it deserves of main posts, specifically the second highest post after the prime minister.”
Meanwhile, SLC member Ali al-Dabbagh, told Asharq Al-Awsat that during his meeting with Allawi he delivered two documents to the Al-Iraqiya leader, “the first deals with the principles of national partnership in the decision-making and the levels of participation in the next government, with emphasis on the need that there should be active participation that ensures the participation in the rule in the country for all. The second paper deals with the reforms in the state establishments, particularly those dealing with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, something that enables the state to shoulder its responsibilities and build establishments that no side or party can usurp.”