Iraqi President Fuad Masoum and Parliament Speaker Salim Al-Jabouri met on Tuesday in Baghdad to discuss a comprehensive national unity and reconciliation plan to bring together Iraq’s disparate ethnic and confessional communities.
Presidential spokesman Khaled Shuwani told Asharq Al-Awsat both men had agreed during their meeting that “it was time to transform the issue of national unity from being one of slogans to a full-fledged national project taking into account social, political, economic, and security factors, in order to promote peaceful coexistence between Iraq’s various factions.”
He added that the initiative would “require everyone’s involvement, without exception.”
Both Masoum and Jabouri had similar views on the issues related to a national unity initiative, Shuwani said, adding that the initiative would be more fully worked out in detail when Iraq’s president, prime minister, and speaker of parliament meet soon to further discuss it.
“The speaker of parliament has particular views on this matter and there are also other figures and authorities in Iraq who hold the same views as well. This means we will have a common ground in this direction which will help promote the importance of the national unity and reconciliation plan, and we need everyone’s cooperation on this,” he said.
Speaker of Parliament Jabouri had announced recently that efforts were under way to bring the Iraqi government, regional representatives and members of the opposition together in a single meeting to discuss legal and constitutional changes to pave the way for a comprehensive national unity plan for the country.
Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi has also recently announced he plans to put forward his own national reconciliation initiative to Masoum, Jabouri and Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.
In a statement in December, Allawi said Iraq had “descended into infighting” and that there had been “a deterioration in the general understanding of the concept of citizenship in the country, as well as an absence of unity in Iraqi society and domestic peace and security,” all of which necessitated a comprehensive plan to bring together the disparate elements that make up the country.