Tuesday, August 28

A shaky agreement

Iraq Slogger has published the full text of the Five Party Agreement, which is very tenuous. Iraq Slogger's Amer Moshen observes:
The new agreement (announced jointly by five Iraqi leaders: the President, his two deputies, PM Maliki and Kurdistan’s President Mas'ud Barzani) seems to be designed with two objectives in mind: Pleasing the Sunni leaders and providing “good news” for Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker to include in their September report to the American President.

The agreement includes a bundle of laws: chiefly an amendment to the de-Ba'thification law allowing ex-Ba'thists to run for elections and be considered for positions in the administration, which was a major Sunni demand. Secondly, the agreement guarantees the release of thousands of Iraqi prisoners without trial (most of whom Sunni,) third, a new law will be passed organizing local elections (another Sunni demand), lastly, passing the controversial oil law will be part of the “package” -– which is good news for the US administration
The bad news is that it's just an agreement between only five in Maliki's government (it might be said those five are the government right now) and has a way to go before it can become law. The way is strewn with pitfalls. Amer continues:
It remains to be seen how the Iraqi parties will react to the agreement (especially the Sunni Iraqi Accord Front) and whether the Sunni ministers of the IAF will return to the government, thus breathing life into Maliki’s crumbling cabinet.

It should also be mentioned that the agreement is one of principle, and the laws included in it still need parliamentary approval to be promulgated. However, al-Jazeera reported that an IAF leader commented on the agreement, describing it as “insufficient” and announcing that his front will wait to judge its application on the ground.
But by any which way, an agreement has been wrestled into existence. Perhaps loud complaints about Maliki's leadership from some US Democrat and Republican senators spurred Maliki, despite his grumbles about back-seat driving.

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