3 Marines Killed
Iraqis Resist Pressure for Benchmarks
Sunni Arab guerrillas killed 3 US Marines in al-Anbar.
Veteran foreign affairs correspondent Trudy Rubin argues that the upcoming Sharm El Sheikh conference of Iraq’s neighbors is an opportunity for the Bush administration to enlist the aid of Iraq’s neighbors in resolving the crisis. If you don’t see the Bushies heavily involved or don’t see practical follow-through from Washington, she suggests, then you will know that Bush isn’t serious about peace making.
Reuters looks at the evidence that the Iraqi parliament is not going to pass the 4 Bush “benchmarks” by June and explains that this is because the Iraqi MPs have constituents who don’t want things like reinstatement of Baathists in government jobs. Reuters further warns that too much US pressure could backfire because Iraqi politicians will reject it.
BBC World Monitoring paraphrases the following from al-Sharqiya Television:
‘ BBC Monitoring International Reports
April 26, 2007 Thursday
SAUDI SAID TO REJECT IRAQI PM VISIT OVER “BIAS TOWARDS A CERTAIN SECT”
Text of report by Dubai-based Iraqi private Al-Sharqiyah TV on 25 April
A high-level Saudi diplomatic source has announced that Riyadh did not receive Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, currently on a Gulf tour, because of his negative stands towards some sects in Iraq. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, added that Al-Maliki’s bias towards a certain sect in Iraq as well as his negative stands towards other sects were among the reasons that prompted the Saudi leadership not to receive him.
Source: Al-Sharqiyah TV, Dubai, in Arabic 1836 gmt 25 Apr 07