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 First UK politician Plaid Cymru to call for the partition of Iraq

 Source : IC.Wales
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First UK politician Plaid Cymru to call for the partition of Iraq  1.10.2007

Plaid Cymru MP calls for Iraq to be split to ensure peace

October 1, 2007

UK, -- Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price has become one of the first UK politicians to call for the partition of Iraq.

He has come to the conclusion Iraq has no future as a “unitary state” in which Sunni and Shia Muslims and Kurds will share power.

Convinced that the ethnic groups cannot be forced to live together, Mr Price favours either a confederal system or outright independence for the communities.

The Kurdistan region in 'northern Iraq', he argues, enjoys de facto independence.

Mr Price believes unless Iraq is formally divided, violent elements within the minority Sunnis will continue to attempt to regain the dominance of the region they enjoyed during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

He said, “The Shia, having suffered decades of repression, are using their majority position for all its worth.”

The Bush administration has opposed the break-up of Iraq but supporters of division scored a major victory last week when the US Senate passed a non-binding resolution in favour of a federal model.

Mr Price – a vociferous opponent of the war who led a parliamentary effort to impeach former Prime Minister Tony Blair – is adamant that the time has come for the US and Britain to give up efforts to preserve Iraq as a nation state.

He said, “We shouldn’t try and force existing borders [on the Iraqis] if lives are being lost.”

Managed progress to partition is preferable to continued sectarian warfare, he argues – though he acknowledges the creation of new countries in a volatile and oil-rich region may not promote stability in the immediate term.

Key opponents of partition include the Turkish government, which fears an independent Kurdish state could destabilise border areas which are home to large numbers of ethnic Kurds.

Debate also continues about how Iraq’s oil would be divided among the different groups. Control of Baghdad – the multiethnic capital – will be one of the most contentious subjects in any future negotiations.

Despite the immense challenges posed by partition, Mr Price said that opponents of sectarian division needed a “reality check”.

He said, “It’s going to happen sooner or later.”

Rather than allowing a full-scale civil war to develop, he wants the work of dividing the country to begin now.

The MP said, “There will be minority communities however you would eventually draw up any map. You would still need a peace and reconciliation at a local, regional and communal level.”

The eventual collapse of Yugoslavia into former states involved great violence but brought an end to vicious killing of minorities, he contended.

“If that hadn’t happened those conflicts would have gone on far, far longer and been far bloodier,” he said.



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