World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Iraq's President Sees Iraqi Society "United"

Iraq's President Sees Iraqi Society "United"

Talabani calls on Iraqi voters to judge the constitution

By David Shelby
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says the vocal disagreement between different ethnic and religious communities in Iraq should not be interpreted as a sign of civil discord but, rather, an indication of a healthy political environment.

“There is no civil war in Iraq, and Iraqi society is united,” Talabani told a group of journalists in Washington September 9. “But because we have a democratic climate … there are dialogues, there are discussions, there are sometimes different ideas, views. But in the end, you see Iraqi society united.”

He said the democratic process is helping forge a stronger sense of national unity in Iraq. “As history proved, multination governments and states can only survive when there will be democracy and federation and equality,” he said.

Speaking about reservations in some parts of the Sunni Arab community about the role of federalism in the new Iraqi Constitution, Talabani said it is up to the Iraqi voters to decide. “Let us … ask the people, go back to the referendum to ask the people. If they don’t want federation, OK. If they didn’t want it, put it aside,” he said.

Iraqi voters are being asked to vote on the new draft constitution in an October 15 referendum. As it stands, the document provides for greater empowerment of regional governments under a federal system.

Talabani said Iraq likely would be able to build up its security forces within the coming year, thereby allowing the United States to draw down its forces, but he said American troops are serving more than just an internal security function.

“I think we need to have American forces. It’s not only for the security of Iraq …. The need for American forces there … is to frighten our neighbors not to interfere in our internal affairs. We are afraid from this,” he said.

Talabani expressed Iraq’s appreciation for the support it has received from Turkey and Iran, and he said that Iraq does not support the activities of the PKK, Turkey’s militant Kurdish opposition group. Talabani, himself a Kurd, said, “We think that PKK committed a big mistake when they resumed the war against Turkish government …. We think that the time is for all people to choose political and peaceful methods of struggle. We don’t think that what they are doing is in the interests of the Kurdish people either in Turkey or in Iraq.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news