Iraqiya won't attend crisis meeting without Barzani

12/01/2012 13:23 BAGHDAD, Jan. 12 (AKnews) - Iraqiya List has said they will not go to the emergency meeting of Iraq's political elite if the President of Kurdistan Region does not go.

The meeting called by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is to calm the tensions caused by disputes between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraqiya, led by Maliki's rival Ayad Allawi.

The country has been mired in political turmoil since the U.S. forces withdrew. Maliki has sacked his Iraqiya deputy Saleh al-Mutlag and an arrest warrant has been issued for Iraqiya member and Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on terrorism charges. In addition Iraqiya members boycotting the Councils of Representatives and Ministers saying Maliki is trying to turn Iraq into a sectarian, one-party state.

Within the past few days different statements over Barzani's participation were made. Fuad Hussein, head of Barzani's office told AKnews that Barzani will not attend the meeting if it is to be held in Baghdad. Later he said Barzani will send his representative if the meeting is in Baghdad.

Maysun al-Damluji, spokesperson for Iraqiya List, told AKnews that her list's position is clear and won't change.

"Our participation in the conference depends on the presence of the political leaders who played a great role in eliminating the previous regime and play a great role in the political process now."

A proposal by Barzani for a power sharing government led to the current political arrangement following almost nine months of standoff. Under Barzani's agreement Maliki was reinstated as PM and Allawi, whose party won the election, were placated with the leadership of a new national council for strategic polices.

Failure to constitute the Council triggered accusations that Maliki was in violation of the constitution and the Erbil Agreement, as the power sharing accord is known.

Damluji said: "Iraqiya will not participate in the meeting if Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani does not participate. Iraqiya does not see any benefit in holding the conference if the conditions of its success are not met."

By Haidar Ibrahim