Sunni-Shiite Pact in Parliament

The USG Open Source Center translates a broadcast by the Iranian Al-Alam satellite television station reporting on a new pact between the [Shiite] Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the [Sunni coalition, the] Iraqi Accord Front, especially the latter’s Islamic Iraqi Party. This alliance probably comes in response to the move of other parties to form an alliance against the ISCI-dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Since the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq was originally formed by the Iranian government, al-Alam’s reporting about it is positive.

Iraqi Sunni, Shiite Parties Meet To Agree on Charter for ‘Concurrent Action’
Al-Alam Television
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Document Type: OSC Translated Text

(Presenter) The Iraqi scene is witnessing noticeable political movement these days. Within this framework, the (Shiite) Islamic Supreme Council and the (Sunni) National Accord Front held a preliminary meeting and formed a committee to draft a charter on concurrent action. These meetings come amid reports of a new government to be formed headed by Al-Maliki.

(Correspondent) New alliances and blocs (are emerging) in the political process known for its multi-polar nature and inertia. Movement began inside and outside the deputies’ chamber (Iraqi parliament) away from the work of the government. The Islamic Party, the largest party in the National Accord Front, and the Islamic Supreme Council are preparing to sign a charter on concurrent action.

(Hamid Mi’la, deputy for the Iraqi United Alliance) As is known, a meeting took place last Tuesday between the political bureaus of the two parties, the Islamic Supreme Council and the Islamic Party. An understanding was reached and ground was prepared for future understandings. Given the importance of these two political bodies, a committee was formed to draft some provisions on a joint agreement, the aim of which was to drive forward the political process.

(Abdul-Karim al-Samara’i, deputy for the Iraqi Accord Front) During this meeting the important political issues on the Iraqi front were discussed. There is a belief with the brothers at the Islamic Supreme Council that there is a need for the Islamic Party to participate in the decision-making of the Iraqi government, given that it is the biggest party on the Sunni front.

(Correspondent) Advancing the political process was evident from the meetings of the (political) bloc’s leaders. The result was the removal of alliances and agreements which were deemed to be blocking political action, and the forming of others based on professionalism and away from quotas and bloc-formation.

(Abbas al-Bayyati, deputy for the United Iraqi Alliance) These agreements and meetings are part of the political movement. Everyone feels a sense of national responsibility through supporting the national unity government and by advancing the political process. This is especially so after everyone is sensing an improved security situation. This political movement and these bilateral agreements are evidence that the political forces are moving ever closer and are uniting around a nationalist foundation.

(Correspondent) These alliances come after a long list of discussions and deliberations. The parliament has seen in the last few months a change of the map of blocs and lists. According to observers, the future of these alliances, which have increased recently, will contribute to the driving forward of the political process and have already reflected well on the performance of the government and reduced tensions in parliament.

(Description of Source: Tehran Al-Alam Television in Arabic — IRIB’s 24-hour Arabic news channel, targetting a pan-Arab audience)