Saudi official warns of widening Iraq war

Sept. 23, 2005 at 8:01 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia's foreign minister warned the war in Iraq could easily spread and involve the country's neighbors.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Thursday the proposed Iraqi constitution doesn't offer a unifying document but, rather, pushes the country's three main ethnic groups apart.

The result, the foreign minister told USA Today, is a split of the Sunnis and Shiites in central and southern Iraq while northern Iraq, the population of which is mostly Kurdish, would be more autonomous.

Faisal said: "If things go the way they are, there will be a struggle among the three for natural resources." That would lead nearby countries to become involved, with Iran likely to support the Iraqi Shiites and Turkey entering northern Iraq to forestall an independent Kurdish area. He added the region's Arab counties would not likely abandon the Iraqi Sunni population.

The U.S. State Department had no comment on the foreign minister's statements.

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