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Sunni leaders set conditions for working with new Iraqi government

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A key Sunni tribal leader on Friday said during a televised news conference that he would be willing to work with the new prime minister, Haidar al-Abbadi, on condition the rights of the Sunni community are safeguarded.

Sheikh Ali Hatem Suleiman is head of al-Dulaim tribe which dominates Ramadi and the sprawling desert province of Anbar.

He is among Several Sunni tribal leaders from different provinces have stated their willingness to work with new government if it can provide for equal civil and administrative rights on areas and provinces where a majority of them reside.


They Sunni leader have called for reforms in the military, for the release political detainees, to stop executions, to remove militia men from their provinces and that shelling of their provinces also be ceased.

The statement was made after Nouri al- Maliki relinquished his power.

Taha Mohammed Al Hamdoon, the spokesman for tribal and clerical leaders, said Sunni representatives in Anbar and other provinces had drawn up a list of demands to be delivered to al- Abadi through Sunni politicians.

He called for government and Shia militia forces to suspend hostilities to allow space for talks. “It is not possible for any negotiations to be held under barrel bombs and indiscriminate bombing,” Hamdoon said. “Let the bombing stop and withdraw and curtail the (Shia) militias until there is a solution for the wise men in these areas.”

Hamdoon was earlier the spokesman for protesters whose demands ranged from amending laws that are used unfairly to persecute Sunnis to carving out their own region akin to Iraq’s ethnic Kurds, who run their own semi-autonomous administration in the north of the country.