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Arab leaders reluctant to enthuse about new Iraq - Daily News Egypt

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Arab leaders reluctant to enthuse about new Iraq

Reuters CAIRO: After watching a bewildering array of Iraqi politicians try their hand at government, Arab leaders are reluctant to pin much hope on new Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, analysts and official sources said on Monday. Arab governments also face such a range of conflicting choices in dealing with Iraq that they appear paralyzed when …


Reuters

CAIRO: After watching a bewildering array of Iraqi politicians try their hand at government, Arab leaders are reluctant to pin much hope on new Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, analysts and official sources said on Monday. Arab governments also face such a range of conflicting choices in dealing with Iraq that they appear paralyzed when it comes to forming coherent policies, the analysts added. Should they press for quick U.S. withdrawal, for example, or should they wait in the hope that the United States and the new Iraqi government can prevent a descent into complete chaos? Should they resist the temptation to prop up Sunni Muslim factions as a counterweight to the influence of Iran, or accept the reality that the Sunnis have lost the political prominence they enjoyed for the past few centuries? There is an intrinsic ambiguity in Arab policies towards Iraq at this point. They address so many contradictory factors to the point of staying silent when it comes to real policies, says Egyptian political scientist Mohamed El-Sayed Said. Arab governments act in a duplicitous way and you are not really sure or clear what they want. They may speak in one way and act in another way, he adds. Abdel-Khaleq Abdullah, a political science professor in the United Arab Emirates, says the non-committal attitude of Arab governments towards Iraq stemmed from their uncertainty. Their vague reaction to the [new Iraqi government] is merely a reflection of the grey situation they see there. It is a deliberate non-position because it is known that Maliki is not really in the driving seat, he tells Reuters. Arab governments rarely comment on domestic political developments in Iraq except to deplore violence and express a general desire for ethnic and sectarian harmony. Leaders such as President Hosni Mubarak have learnt to their cost that it can be unwise to say anything to upset any of the leading parties in Iraq. The Iraqi government made a formal complaint when Mubarak, in an interview with the satellite television station Al Arabiya, cast doubt on the national loyalty of Iraqi Shiites. The experience of the past three years has taught the Arab governments to be skeptical about U.S. or Iraqi claims that there is light at the end of the tunnel or that the next change of government will mark a watershed towards peace and stability. An Egyptian diplomatic source said the hopes raised by Iraqi elections last December had mostly evaporated over subsequent months because of the delays in forming the government and the wrangling over the security portfolios. Maliki finally appointed his interior and defense ministers last week. People have lost faith in the process, said the source, who asked not to be named. But hopefully the new government will have a chance to bring in the necessary stability. The situation is really worrying, he adds. Mohamed El-Sayed Said says the new government had at least recognized the problems it faces, including sectarianism, corruption and police brutality, and had shown good intentions by offering to reach out to Iraqi society. A source in Maliki s office said on Monday that the government was considering inviting certain members of insurgent groups to national reconciliation talks. But some other politicians and analysts said they saw very little hope that Iraq will see peace and stability soon. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Al-Hoss said: Even after the government formation, divisions among Iraq s different parties remain high. Nothing has really changed. Maliki is the other face of Al-Jaafari. What is happening is that names and faces are being changed but nothing is actually changing on the ground, said Daoud Al-Shiryan, a Saudi writer and analyst. In Algiers, political analyst Mohamed Lakeb linked all improvement to ending the U.S. military presence. As long as the new Iraqi government is linked to the Americans it will have little chance to restore security and hope among its people, he said. I understand that withdrawing now is problematic, but staying there will worsen the situation, he added. Additional reporting by bureaus in Algiers, Beirut, Dubai and Riyadh

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https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2006/06/14/arab-leaders-reluctant-to-enthuse-about-new-iraq/
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