Baghdad, June 3, SPA — Sunni Arabs — many of whom boycotted Iraq”s elections — began talks Thursday with members of the panel writing the country”s new constitution, officials said.
The talks are part of an effort by the transitional National Assembly, dominated by Shiites and Kurds, to bring Sunni Arabs into the process of creating a new political culture.
"We welcome this participation," Shiite Arab cleric Hummam Hammoudi said in a CNN interview Wednesday. Sunnis "are accepting, willing and eager for this participation," he said.
Hammoudi heads the assembly”s 55-member constitutional committee that has until August 15 to draft a document to be put before voters in October.
Sunni leaders met three hours Thursday with a seven-member subcommittee of the panel assigned the job of trying to bring their perspective into the drafting process, a Sunni official said. Another meeting is scheduled next week, he said