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Iraq against internationalizing crisis

March 5, 2007 at 12:07 PM

CAIRO, March 5 (UPI) -- Iraq's foreign minister said his country is against taking the Iraqi crisis to the international arena, saying this will take Iraq back to "square one."

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zibari told United Press International in an interview in Cairo Monday the idea of holding an international conference on Iraq or taking the crisis to the U.N. Security Council is "completely rejected."

He stressed that any regional or international moves should be solely focused on helping the Iraqi government restore security, stability and national reconciliation. "But those with the idea of taking the situation back to square one should realize they are delusional," said.

Zibari was responding to a request by Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa, on the sidelines of the Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo Sunday, to resort to the Security Council for a resolution on the Iraqi political process, including the dismantling of the militias and revoking some articles in the new constitution. During their meeting, the foreign ministers declared that resolving the Iraqi crisis is the prime responsibility of the Iraqi government and leaders.

"Is it possible for the Iraqi people, after all these sacrifices and efforts of the past four years to build institutions, to accept going backward? This is impossible," Zibari, a Kurd, told UPI.

Zibari's comments reflected fears by some of the ruling Shiite and Kurdish forces from Arab-sponsored plans to include in the new political fabric Sunni parties, including members of the dismantled former Baath Party, that oppose the U.S. occupation and the Iraqi government.

Major U.S.-allied Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan -- are worried by the growing influence of the Iranian-backed Shiite parties on war-torn Iraq.

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