02/14/2005, 00.00
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Sunnis are already involved in the political life of Iraq, says Kurdish leader

According to Saywan Barzani, representative of the Kurdish government in Europe, Sunnis will take place in drafting the Constitution.

Paris (AsiaNews) – "Sunnis are already involved in the political life of Iraq" and "have asked to take part in drafting the Constitution", which "should [not] be written by the majoritarian principle" alone, said Saywan Barzani, representative of the Kurdish government in Europe.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Mr Barzani said that a civil war should be excluded. He asked the West to help the democratic process in Iraq by stopping terrorist infiltration into the country.

"If democracy fails in Iraq," he said, "it will mean the triumph of terror and chaos in the whole Middle East".

Saywan Barzani is Massud Barzani's nephew, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which in coalition with Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, has won 25.7 per cent of the vote and 71 seats in the new 275-member National Assembly in the January 30 elections.

Here is his interview with AsiaNews.

What are the possibilities that Sunnis will take place in the political future of Iraq?

From the data I have, 80 per cent of all Sunnis took place in the elections, especially in Baghdad. For this reason, they are already involved in the political life or Iraq.

At present, they are victims of Baathist terror which is responsible for the failure of the electoral process in Mosul.

For the time being, the Iraqi government cannot protect Sunnis from Islamic terrorists who, in alliance with Baathists, are running roughshod over the Fallujah and Mosul areas, but I am certain that in the future they will massively participate in the political life of the country.

On what basis can you say that?

Even prior to the elections, the Iraqi Islamic Party, the largest Sunni party in the country, had said that it would take part in drafting the constitution. Even the Ulema Council, which is close to the Baathists, has asked to be included in the process. Kurds have asked that the Constitution be written on a consensus and not a majoritarian principle.

Is there any danger of civil war in Iraq?

No, it is impossible. There are at least two million mixed marriages between Sunnis and Shiites. It is hard to distinguish a Sunni from a Shiite.

It is true that there are problems in some areas like Mosul where the terrorists are sewing hatred but that is not enough for armies to form and fight a civil war.

What should the West do in the post-election period?

It should pressure our neighbours to stop their support for terrorists who infiltrate our territory. They should also prevent the media and propaganda support that the terrorists receive and which is harmful to Iraq. Finally, they should help the democratic process in Iraq. Should it fail it will mean the triumph of terror and chaos in the whole Middle East.

How do you see Iraq's future?

Our main problem is not political but security-related. There are suicide bombers sent from other countries with weapons and money. They use the still-existing Baathist network which is known for its brutality and international connections. (LF)

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