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Iraq: Democratic Patriotic Party Official On Arab League Meeting


http://gdb.rferl.org/abd37f07-3755-4b25-818e-8ae73103b071_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/abd37f07-3755-4b25-818e-8ae73103b071_mw800_mh600.jpg Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa (file photo) (CTK) RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) broadcast an exclusive interview with Democratic Patriotic Party Secretary-General Nasir al-Chadirchi in Baghdad on 11 November. Al-Chadirchi, a former member of the Iraqi Governing Council, discussed the Arab League's proposed conference on Iraqi reconciliation and said he would not participate in the December 2005 National Assembly elections.

Al-Chadirchi: In principle, I am in favor of any national dialogue [such as the Arab League initiative to a "national reconciliation conference] if it is conducted in Iraq. The problem is an Iraqi problem and a problem of those who are inside Iraq, particularly Iraqis who live inside Iraq. Why should this conference be held or even prepared in Cairo? I am against this idea and I demand that this conference be prepared and held in Baghdad, not in Cairo. An important reason is that the atmosphere must be positive. The atmosphere is not positive in Cairo. The public in Egypt at the present time is not positive because it has taken a specific attitude toward the political process in Iraq. The press in Egypt, the journalists syndicate, the bar association, other professional unions, satellite television stations, and journalism in general -- all these are generally not positive to host a conference in Cairo that would foster the understanding in, and solution of, the Iraqi question.
I believe among them are those who have raised weapons, those who do not want Iraq to exist, and those who have not denounced terrorism, killings, and violence, or those who embrace violence -- at present, those people must not participate in the conference.


The Iraqi question must be solved by Iraqis and inside Iraq. But if there are people [abroad] who cannot come to Iraq or who do not feel safe to travel here, then the Iraqi government must set clear conditions for their arrival to and return from Iraq, and for their security and protection. The Iraqi nation and the Iraqi institutions that have been establishing the rules in Iraq must set clear conditions as to who should participate because there are people who must not participate in the conference.

RFI: Who are they?

Al-Chadirchi: They are many. I believe among them are those who have raised weapons, those who do not want Iraq to exist, and those who have not denounced terrorism, killings, and violence, or those who embrace violence -- at present, those people must not participate in the conference. It will be a conference of consensus for everybody who believes in the political process.

RFI: What can you say about your participation in the upcoming elections?

Al-Chadirchi: I was supposed to participate in these elections but, at the last moment, I withdrew my candidacy although I had been really willing to participate. There were many reasons that made me not want to participate. I do not want to elaborate on this now but I will explain it later. I would have participated in the Patriotic Iraqi List but, very regrettably, this has not come true.

RFI: Has anyone pushed you not to participate in the upcoming elections?

Al-Chadirchi: No, there has not been any pressure, neither from abroad nor from [inside] Iraq. The reason, however, was a disagreement. That is the cause for my nonparticipation.

RFI: What do you expect from the next elections?

Al-Chadirchi: I believe that these elections will be important and that there will be a fierce battle between a number of groups. I hope that these elections will be free of sectarianism and nationalism although I do expect them to be as sectarian and communitarian as the [January 2005 parliamentary elections], if not even more. We are going enter a new battle in this field.

(Translation by Petr Kubalek)

RFE/RL Iraq Report


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