According to news reports, the leaders participating in the Finnish sponsored peace talks, are leaving Helsinki with new hopes in ending the violence between their warring parties.
The four-day meeting was held under the auspices of former President Martti Ahtisaari’s Crisis Management Initiative office. They say participants will aim for national reconciliation through power division. In addition, the parties said they would abandon political violence.
The same –but longer– report in Finnish offers some more interesting details.
“Seminaarin korkea-arvoisin irakilainen edustaja, suurinta shiiapuoluetta edustava ministeri Akram Al-Hakim sanoi YLE Uutisille olevansa erittäin tyytyväinen onnistuneeseen kokoukseen. Hän toivoi voivansa palata Suomeen vielä samoissa merkeissä.”
Translation: “The highest respected Iraqi representative to the seminar, a minister representing the largest Shi’ia party, Akram Al-Hakim told YLE News that he was very pleased with the success of the meetings. He hoped that he could yet return to Finland under the same circumstances.”
“Helsinki-sopimuksen julistuksessa näkyykin seminaarin osallistujien panos. Irakiin halutaan nyt samantapainen aseistariisuntaa valvova komissio kuin mikä nähtiin aikoinaan Pohjois-Irlannissa, ja Irakin eheyttämiseksi Helsingin sopimus ehdottaa jonkinlaista totuuskomissiota Etelä-Afrikan esimerkin tapaan.”
Translation: “The announcement of the Helsinki agreement reflects the input of the participants to the seminar. A need for Iraq to have the same kind weapons disarmament observers committee that was seen in N.Ireland, and for Iraq’s unification, the Helsinki agreement suggests a “truth commission” based on the example of the South-African model.”
I can imagine some breaking in the ice between the sides if the meetings continue in the same model. But one also has to be realistic, that its not just a battle between Shi’ia and Sunnis, its also a highly complex inter political struggle between the vast number of tribes as well. I am also encourged that a growing number of these tribes are growing tired of the fighting, and have begun (for some time now) to loathe the foreign jihadis/al-Qaida. *L* KGS