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IraqSlogger / Allawi Says Surge May be "Waste of Time"

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Allawi Says Surge May be "Waste of Time"
Ex-PM: Without Political Progress Plan Won't Succeed
Posted 11 hr. 59 min. ago
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (C) shares a light moment with unidentified guests at the opening of the forum on democracy and free trade, in Doha 23 April 2007.
Photo by Karim Jaafar/AFP.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (C) shares a light moment with unidentified guests at the opening of the forum on democracy and free trade, in Doha 23 April 2007.

A major Iraqi political figure has stated that the security plan will fail unless there is progress on the political front.

Iyad Allawi, Iraqi MP and leader of the Iraqi National List, said that the surge in the number of US troops will be a “waste of time” unless the underlying roots of the conflict are dealt with, AFP reports.

"It will not succeed without political and national reconciliation," Iyad Allawi said to journalists at a conference on democracy and development in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday.

"If this does not take place, then the surge is going to be a waste of time," Allawi added.

In January the US announced that it was sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq. By June the total number of troops in Iraq will be 160,000. Most of the new troops are going to Baghdad but 4,000 are being sent to Anbar where tribal groups have allied with US forces to expel al-Qaida militants.

The new US ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, voiced a similar sentiment at his first press conference on Monday, AFP reports.

"These months ahead are going to be critical as this plan continues forward to increase security and gain the time, but most especially as Iraqis then try and use that time to grapple with some of these difficult issues," Ambassador Crocker said.

In his comments to journalists on Tuesday, Allawi also made it very clear that he was not in favor of the new US security wall in Baghdad, AFP reports.

"Rather than thinking of walls and barriers . . . we should be thinking about the root of the problem in Iraq, which is political," Allawi told reporters.

"Without doing this, there will be no end to barriers and walls being built," The former interim prime minister added.

Iyad Allawi was the first PM of the post-Saddam regime and is the man some speculate to be Prime Minister in waiting. Earlier this year there were reports that he was attempting to topple current PM Nuri al-Maliki.

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His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar,inaugurated the activities of the "the Doha 7th Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade " in the Ritz Carlton Hotel - Doha, today 23 April ,which will continue from 23 - 25 April 2007

 
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