Iraq Sunni politician talks of secession, angers allies

By REUTERS
June 30, 2011 00:27

 
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BAGHDAD - Iraq's minority Sunnis could consider secession if the central government doesn't treat them fairly, Iraq's speaker of parliament and most prominent Sunni politician said, but his allies rejected the idea.

Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said in an interview with US-funded al-Hurra television that Sunnis -- who dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein -- were growing impatient under the current government, led by Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"They (Sunnis) feel very frustrated and (feel) that they are second-class citizens, and they are not real partners in power," Nujaifi said.

"This is a very serious issue that should be treated wisely and quickly before things develop to reach the (point where Sunnis are) thinking of a kind of separation to guarantee rights," he said. "We fear that if issues are not administered on a high- responsibility level, the country may divide."

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