September 26, 2006
Al Hayat, an independent newspaper, reported in its September 26 issue about the latest developments in the Iraqi political situation. The newspaper wrote:
"Many Iraqi prominent figures criticized the call by the Iraqi president Jalal Talbani for establishing permanent American military presence in Iraq and his announcement of his country's need for the presence of two American air bases to â€˜prevent foreign interferences in Iraq' as he stated in his interview with the American newspaper Washington Post. Sheikh Khalaf Al-Allayyan, member of the Accord Front, confirmed that the â€˜American presence in the country is conditional upon the security situation. Scheduling the withdrawal has become an urgent necessity in the current time despite the support by some political coalitions for the immediate withdrawal [of the American forces]'."
The newspaper continued: "He added: â€˜The request by the president for long term American presence goes against the mandate of the president which was specified by the texts of the Iraqi constitution because the issue of the presence or withdrawal of the American forces is an issue that should be discussed in the parliament'. He confirmed that the Accord Front â€˜will not allow permanent military bases on Iraqi soil under the pretext of protecting Iraq'. He accused â€˜political and parliamentary factions of working to worsen the security situation in the country to preserve the American presence'. The MP for the Sadr movement Qussay Abul-Wahhab pointed out that Talbani's statements contradicts the wishes of the parliamentary coalitions that called for the withdrawal of the occupation forces from the country."
The newspaper added: "He added that there is coordination with the other coalitions to find a specific mechanism for the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraq at the nearest possible date. He continued: â€˜The mechanism is being developed and the parliamentary coalitions will not allow the decisions of the government to proceed in this issue especially as Al-Maliki's government promised to study the petition signed by 140 MPs calling for scheduling the withdrawal and not extending the American military presence in the country'. The head of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front Salih Al-Mutlak considered the call for [permanent] American military bases as a â€˜new political game' that aims to â€˜strike Iraqi sovereignty and spread even further the divisional schemes'. He announced that the â€˜impotence by the government to deal with the security situation in the country pushed towards depending on the American forces which haven't succeeded in finding a solution to the security issue in the country'â€¦"
- Al Hayat, United Kingdom
Note: This document has been edited by Mideast Wire.
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