Shiites, Sunnis should work hand in hand

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
NAJAF, Iraq, Dec 17 (AFP) - Outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari on
Saturday urged minority Sunni Arabs to work hand in hand with Iraq's
majority Shiites in the new parliament following a landmark general

"To our brothers in Mosul, Ramadi and Tikrit, I say your brothers in Najaf,
Karbala and Hilla have waited a long time to work hand in hand with you
under the dome of the next parliament to build the new Iraq," he told

The three largely Sunni towns of Mosul, Ramadi and Tikrit have been bastions
of support for Iraq's nationalist insurgency since Saddam Hussein's
Sunni-dominated regime fell from power in April 2003.

The southern towns of Najaf, Karbala and Hilla are strongholds for the
Shiite-dominated government led by Jaafari and where his religious United
Iraqi Alliance coalition is slated to do well in this week's election.

Jaafari also addressed himself to Sunni clerics, urging them to "use their
position to spread principles of unity and freedom".

Sunni Arabs, who largely boycotted a vote for a transitional government in
January, flocked to polls Thursday in order to maximise their political
representation in the election for a full-term parliament.

Jaafari similarly called on Baathists to work with "their brothers" to
rebuild Iraq, saying people were now "compassionate" towards loyalists of
the former ruling party during Saddam's regime.

The outgoing prime minister, second candidate for the United Iraqi Alliance,
is guaranteed to be elected to parliament with the bloc set to win the
highest number of seats, a reflection of Iraq's Shiite majority.