Gulf leaders welcome Saudi Arabia`s Iraq initiative

The Saudi King`s appeal to Iraqi leaders to meet in his country to break the political impasse has been hailed across the Gulf region as an initiative that needs urgent reaction, though it garnered a cold response in Baghdad.

Last Updated: Nov 01, 2010, 14:06 PM IST

Dubai: The Saudi King`s appeal to Iraqi
leaders to meet in his country to break the political impasse has been hailed across the Gulf region as an initiative that needs urgent reaction, though it garnered a cold response in
Baghdad.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General
Abdulrahman Al-Attiyah said that calls initiated by Saudi
Arabia should have "urgent reaction" from all Iraqi political
forces, namely those that are worried about the current
situation in Iraq.

King Abdullah has called upon the Iraqi leaders to
meet in Saudi Arabia after the Hajj season to address their
problems and form a government of national unity.

"I invite his Excellency President Jalal Talabani...
and all parties that took part in the elections and the
political process to your second country Saudi Arabia, to
Riyadh, after the blessed Haj season," King Abdullah had said
in his appeal to Iraqi leaders.

The call of the Saudi Monarch, said Al-Attiyah, was
aimed at calming down the situation in Iraq for the ultimate
stability and unity of its people.

"All Iraqis need to sacrifice more than ever to see
their country enjoy security and stability," he said.
The UAE has also announced its full support to the
initiative of King Abdullah.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al
Nahyan praised the initiative and said: "We highly appreciate
the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for stability of
Iraq and the region, and we assure our full support to this
initiative".

"Therefore, we call upon all the Iraqi parties to deal
with the initiative carefully in the best interest of Iraq,
its people and the region".

The Saudi King said the talks would be held under the
auspices of the Arab League in order to seek solutions for all
outstanding problems that stand in the way of forming a unity
government in Baghdad, adding that it would be a good
opportunity for reconciliation to restore Iraq`s security,
peace and stability.

Gulf leaders have said King Abdullah`s move was an "important initiative" that reflects Riyadh`s leading in backing security and stability in the Arab world.

But, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki`s coalition
has already rejected the Saudi initiative, saying it
complicates efforts to form a new government.

No single bloc won enough seats to control the
parliament in the March elections, leading to a political
deadlock that has refused to end.
A senior official of al-Maliki`s coalition said the
offer of talks will further delay the formation of a new
government.

Bureau Report