Is USA Negotiating With Sunni Iraq Resistance Groups?

The Iraq government is furious because of reports concerning American negotiation with dissident Iraq Sunni groups. The Maliki government regards such talks as a violation of Iraq sovereignty and a display of tolerance for terrorists. The State Department admits there has been discussions with Sunni groups, but argues the Iraq government was informed they were occurring. Americans have previously negotiated with Sunni leaders in discussions that eventually led to creation of the Awakening Councils that played a key role in reducing violence in Iraq. The reality is the Mailiki government still hesitates to enter into power sharing arrangements with Sunni leaders, a refusal that may be playing a role in the current escalation of violence in Iraq.

Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, said it “was shocking” and “amazing” that US and Turkish officials met “the supporters of the former regime, groups that adopt violence and terrorism as a way to change the situation, and the networks that believe in killing, bombing and targeting innocents.” On the other hand, Turkey has repeatedly attempted to play a mediating role in dealing with Iraq violence. Unfortunately, the violence will not cease until Sunni leaders are given power and recognition in Iraq.

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