Outcome of Meeting in Doha with the Iraqi Opposition
Following the invitation from the government of Qatar to attend consultations in Doha, on Wednesday, the 2nd of September, 2015, in conjunction with Foreign Minister HE Dr. Khalid al-Attiyah, Sheikh Jamal al-Dhari attended a high-level meeting of Iraqi opposition groups to discuss a number of issues pertaining to Iraq. These groups are outside the present political process.
This meeting included Special Representative for Iraq for the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) and the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Mr. Jan Kubis, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kuwaiti Ambassador in Qatar.
The purpose of the meeting was to produce series of steps to provide solutions to the historic impasse that Iraq is currently experiencing and to address the acute humanitarian problems of the Iraqi people.
It was noted that these problems are the result of policies of exclusion and marginalization that have targeted certain communities within Iraq.
The main takeaways of the meeting included:
The role of militias in Iraq, and the fact that the central government has failed to control them, is a matter of great concern. The militias have substantial support and backing from Iran and this type of outside interference in Iraqi internal affairs is a source of division and fragmentation in the country. The policies of interference are undermining the prospect of a unified Iraq that supports and protects its people.
The meeting also emphasized the principle of independence of the Iraqi judiciary. The executive branch should not be able to use the judiciary as a weapon against political opponents, which has been the case with recent governments.
Concerning the conflict against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – also known as ISIS, IS, and Daesh – it is essential to reconstruct the Iraqi armed forces on the basis of national inclusivity and professionalism. The process of reconstruction should be in accordance with Iraqi military doctrine in order to be ready to defend the country.
The current Iraqi government should reform the use and configuration of the militias under UN and international supervision. During this process, the Iraqi government should issue guarantees to initiate the proper measures. The guarantees would serve as a sign of goodwill and lead to a lessening of tension and injustice in the governorates that are most affected by the current conflict.
Finally, all political parties should include a broad spectrum of Iraqis and act to halt Iran’s policy of interference in Iraq’s national affairs.
The purpose of the meeting was to work toward a comprehensive national unity conference for Iraq under UN auspices, to develop effective solutions to the country’s issues, and to bring justice to all Iraqis regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or beliefs.
Sheikh Jamal al-Dhari noted: “It is my desire to see Iraq return to its natural position in the international community and become a country that values the lives of all its citizens.”