Iraq's President supports U.S. Senate plan to decentralize Iraq

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Iraq's President Jalal Talabani said on Sunday that he supports a U.S. Senate plan to divide Iraq into three separate regions for Shiite Muslims, Sunni Muslims, and Kurds. The plan includes a limited central government in Baghdad which would protect Iraq's borders and distribute oil revenues among the three regions. The Bush administration and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki both oppose the plan, which was put forth in a non-binding Senate resolution adopted last month.

"I think the resolution passed by the Senate is a very good one," said Talabani in an interview with CNN on Sunday. "It is insisting on the unity of Iraq, of the security of Iraq, of the prosperity of Iraq, of national reconciliation and asking our neighbors not to interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq."

On September 26, the U.S. Senate voted 75-23 in favor of a non-binding resolution supporting the plan. The legislation was written by Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) and was co-sponsored by Senators Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Arlen Specter (R-Penn.), and John Kerry (D-Mass.).

According to RFE/RL, the resolution "sparked a massive outcry both inside Iraq and across the Arab world, with critics suggesting the United States has overstepped its role in Iraq."