Al-Jaafari unveils Iraqi political agenda

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has unveiled before parliament his new government's political programme aimed at building a federal system in the country.

    Al-Jaafari says his government aims to build a federal system

    "The political programme of the interim government set up following elections has the objective of building a federal, pluralist Iraq while respecting human rights and public freedoms," he said on Tuesday.
      
    Foreign policy would be based on "reinforcing the unity of Iraq and the integrity of its territory" as well as on mutual respect for and non-inteference in the affairs of its neighbours.
      
    The Iraqi army, al-Jaafari said, would reflect the country's ethnic mosaic.

    "In order to accelerate a return to stability, the government will allocate sufficient funds to relaunch the intelligence and national defence services," he said.

    Security is a vital issue for the new government in Iraq, which has witnessed a sharp escalation in attacks since the new cabinet was sworn in at the beginning of May, with about 700 people killed this month.

    Condemnation

    Al-Jaafari  later condemned the arrest of a top Sunni political leader by US troops.

    "We will take care to build armed forces on a solid base far from all partisan politics"

    Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari

    Monday's 12-hour detention of Iraqi Islamic Party leader Muhsin Abd al-Hamid did little to help US efforts to entice Iraq's once-dominant Sunni community back into the political fold.

    "We condemned as early as possible (the arrest of Abd al-Hamid) ... and from now on we will confront these matters so we can be sure they won't be repeated again in the future," al-Jaafari said.

    Few details were available as to why the Americans arrested the Sunni leader, but it appeared to be related to the ongoing Sunni-led fighting and fears of a broader sectarian conflict starting up.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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