Iraq Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni Leaders Agree Charter Changes
"All obstacles to the approval of the constitution have been removed,'' President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, said at a news conference in the capital, Baghdad, carried live by al-Jazeera television. "I hope this will be the beginning of a new kind of cooperation between all Iraqis.''
Under the agreement a panel will be created to propose amendments to the charter after elections for a new government in December. The panel will be appointed within four months from now and may give Sunnis, who said they were excluded from the drafting process, an opportunity to help redraft the document.
The accord is a victory for U.S. President George W. Bush's administration, which is eager for the document to be ratified since its rejection may fuel a Sunni-led insurgency and dent America's plan to start withdrawing some of its 140,000 troops from the country early next year.
"It's like giving the next house of representatives an authority to change whatever they have to change so this is also to encourage people to join in the next elections,'' Vice President Ghazi al-Yawar, a Sunni and member of the Shammar tribe, said, speaking after Talabani.
"It is done in haste, yes, but it is the best we could do and we had to do this,'' al-Yawar said. Read more