Finland’s hosting of an Iraqi delegation representing the different groups fighting in Baghdad –and in a few other places in Iraq– begins today. According to Finnish news, YLE, the last of the parties participating in the talks arrived early this morning, including representatives from the Irish and S.African peace processes.
“Information received by YLE in Baghdad suggests the talks will be attended by representatives from the radical Shi’ite leader Muqtada al-Sadr and Sunni opposition politican Adnan al-Duleimi. A representative from the largest Shi’ite party, the SCIRI will also attend along with Chairman of the Iraqi Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Humam Hammoudi. They will be joined by representatives from the peace processes in South Africa and Northern Ireland. These include figures close to Sinn Fein in Ireland as well as a delegate from the ANC.”
Former Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari, and his Crisis Management Initiative will be hosting the week long discussions, with the Finnish foreign ministry picking up the tab. After seeing them all bundled up in long coats as they left the plane, I doubt that any of the participants will be very eager to rush out from any of the discussions, Finland is currently in the middle of a “cold snap” right now (6 C / 42F). I wish them all success. More here. *L* KGS