High levels of violence have undermined progress on the Iraqi Government’s national reconciliation plan published last year, but reconciliation and power-sharing between Iraq’s different communities remains central to the country’s future. We welcome the establishment of an Executive Council comprising Prime Minister Maliki, President Talabani and the two Vice-Presidents, which first met on 15 May. The Council will allow for high-level cross-sectarian oversight of, and co-operation on, key policy issues.
The Iraqi Government is conducting dialogues with various opposition groups and tribes, and there is evidence of Sunni tribes in Anbar Province working with the authorities to confront al-Qaeda in Iraq. We are also encouraged by the constructive approach taken by all representatives on the Constitutional Review Committee, which is considering issues central to reconciliation, including federalism and distribution of resources. We hope that the recent Iraq Neighbours Meeting in Sharm el Sheikh will lead to greater regional support for the reconciliation process.