Saturday, August 27, 2005


Sky: Bush strongarms new Iraqi constitutional proposal

Shia and Kurdish leaders say a deal has been struck on Iraq's new draft constitution.

The apparent deal follows intervention from Shiite leader Abdul Aziz Hakim President Bush, who phoned Shia leader Abdul Aziz Hakim, left, from his Texas ranch.

"This is an Iraqi process, but the US is doing everything it can to assist them in meeting their own obligations and deadlines," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said.

Shia and Kurdish leaders say they will present an amended draft to parliament within two days.

"We reached today the final limit beyond which we can't move any further," said said Shi'ite Dawa party deputy Jawad al-Maliki.

"Our final proposal stipulates removing all obstacles to federalism and putting every obstacle in the path of the resurrection of the Baath party and continuing to prosecute its leaders."

Parliament Speaker Hajem al-Hassani confirmed that a draft constitution with new proposals on disputed points would be reviewed by Sunnis and the chamber would receive a response on Sunday

The Sunnis fear they will lose out in the distribution of Iraq's huge oil revenues under a federal system of government - and are not budging on the issue.

Iraqi leaders and US officials are reportedly keen to get Sunni approval in a bid to wean the community away from the insurgency.

"I think that the support for the insurgency will probably broaden if the Sunnis feel like their interests are not protected," said US General John Vines said.


UK Sky News.

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