Malaf.net, 12 Oct 2012 - An interview with former Iraqi premier Ayad Allawi is an opportunity to analyze the future conditions in a country that despite its formalist political trends, still after all these years after its beginning it has not regained its image and remains in the inferno of death and killings.
He is a political figure that despite the creation of many different parties in Iraq resulting from regional and international events, and the impacts on the country’s conditions, he has many abilities in formulating the events in Iraq and presenting a correct analysis of the situation.
During the interview with Allawi, al-Malaf.net was very eager to get into the inside details, which are related to foreign issues due to their role in the quarrel between Iraq’s political parties, and Allawi replied in a manner that proved his political competence and pointed to the exact reasons behind the issues.
Question: According to his recent remarks, the Prime Minister has referred to the meaningless nature of national participation. How do you explain this position?
Allawi: I haven’t heard Mr. Maliki’s recent remarks. He is currently making continuous remarks on various subjects. However, based on your question, the truth is that Mr. Maliki has no will or interest for national participation and no respect for it either. And if what he has said is correct, it shows the facts that are hidden inside him in his way of thought. I am confident the issue of participation that he has violated and bypassed is an important experience for us, and there is even a true and intense crisis in the National Alliance, which speaks of an important subject and that subject is that Mr. Maliki even turned his back on his own allies, topping them all Mr. Moqtada al-Sadr who placed him in power. Therefore, the issue of national participation and his recent remarks, if they are accurate, and his other remarks, are in fact and clearly his lack of accepting national participation and his lack of faith to this matter.
Question: In your opinion in the city council elections that Maliki has called for, is there any prospect for the reestablishment of trust between political parties in Iraq?
Allawi: There is a trust crisis regarding Mr. Maliki. Neither the city elections nor anything else will bring back the trust between many groups and trends in Iraq. This issue has a number of reasons, including ideological differences between political parties and differences in opinion and political positions on one hand, and differences and problems regarding “how Iraq should be and what is its road map to move ahead correctly?” This is part of the distrust problem, and the other part is the fact that conditions are not ready, after the occupation and the formation of terrorism and the presence of foreign forces, for peaceful political trends to begin. Other issues that are not less important, result from this non-peaceful political trend. This is exactly disrupted and confused the establishment of the government and the writing of the constitution with hury, and with unnecessary rush, resulting in rifts in the constitution. As a result, nearly 56 or 58 articles needed to be stated again, but to this day many of them, and especially the most important of them have been implemented. Currently, trust between all and especially inside the National Alliance, and between this coalition with other forces, and between the State of Law party and the Kurdish Coalition, has completely been destroyed a true crisis of mistrust is increasing. Therefore, the issue of national participation and the period of transition and revisal of issues of differences in the constitution and implementing laws in reference to them, are of the most important issue. There is an important example to prove this. The central court has not been established neither in this government nor in the previous governments, despite the fact that the law indicates the necessity of it places in this court’s jurisdiction the description of the constitution articles.
Question: In the shadows of these viewpoints and perspectives, what is the fate of the Arbil agreement?
Allawi: The Arbil agreement was the result of an issue that various political parties had agreed on. However, Iran stood against it and even placed all its strength against it on the issue of national participation, and not just regarding the allocation of main government posts in the country. As a result, the State of Law party and especially Mr. Maliki rejected any kind of political understanding with other parties and only resorted to obtaining all-out control of power and forces and assets of the country under its own control. That is why this subject has become a threat and the Iraqiya Coalition has announced very clearly that Mr. Maliki is not ready to implement this agreement or even part of it.
Question: There is information about you taking the Presidency post. To what extent – if it exists – can this relieve the country of it internal crisis?
Allawi: About the Iraqi Presidency, it is true and it was before the establishment of the government. At that time there was international excitement to re-organize the government in Iraq and correct the situation inside the country. When US officials talked to me I told them this issue has not been coordinated with our Kurdish brothers - because The New York Times had published such an article – and the existing documents portray this important fact that we are not looking for this or that person’s post. For example, to this day neither the Minister of Interior nor Defense have been designated and this is a grave mistake and serious danger in the country. For the country to exit this dead-end it is necessary for various measures to take place that maybe the most important of all would be the Arbil agreement and national participation.
Question: You have had remarks and meetings regarding the situation in Syria and there you have referred to concerns regarding the overthrow of the Syrian regime. In your opinion, in the case of such an event, what are the probable impacts on Iraq?
Allawi: The Syrian regime is completely on its way out. The people of Syria have sacrificed a lot and they deserve kindness and peaceful measures that address their demands. The overthrow of the Syrian regime will most definitely have an impact on various issues, starting with Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and other regions. All that is taking place in Yemen, Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere indicate that there is no stability. There hare very serious and dangerous problems on the table.
Question: Following the removal of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran from the US terrorist list, what importance does this decision have regarding Iraq and its impact on the legal status of PMOI members in Iraq?
Allawi: Surely, Iraq has no relations with decisions made by the US or others. The issue of the PMOI on one hand is affected by the increasing influence of Iran in Iraq. From that time I specifically told the relevant countries, the PMOI themselves and also Iran that in this regard international relations and international laws are respected in Iraq. Therefore, the existing PMOI members in Iraq must be treated with respect. Second, they must be treated according to Arab and Iraqi hospitality, and the values that Iraq believes in. Furthermore, they are Iraq’s guests until their problems are resolved and return safely to their country. When I was Prime Minister, I requested from PMOI officials to hand over their heavy weaponry and not carry out any aggressive measures against neighboring Iran, and maintain their presence in Iraq through respecting the decisions and policies of Iraq and the Iraqi government, and that they were Iraq’s guests and they will be treated just like any other guests, and also they will be treated as guests protected by international laws.
Therefore, while it is obvious that the stance towards them will not be similar to a few months ago when they were considered terrorists, and despite the fact that Europe has also cancelled this designation, due to Iran’s dictation I don’t think the conditions regarding the PMOI and the position towards them will change. We must understand that they must be treated as guests and based on our values on one hand, and international laws on the other.
Question: The conditions of Syrian and Iranian refugees and the behavior towards them in Iraq during the past months has been the topic of various legal discussions. In your opinion, to what extent do these conditions meet international standards regarding refugees’ rights and why is the Iraqi government treating these refuges like this, and in the end being criticized?
Allawi: We should not consider all of the Syrian people as terrorists and that their coming to Iraq will be considered a big problem. In addition to this, if the Iraqi government had self-confidence like Jordan, Turkey and even Lebanon, it would have opened its doors to Syrian refugees. However it appears that the Iraqi government has no self-confidence and as a result it cannot provide help to the innocent people of Syria. In fact, it is very unfortunate and we are very surprised of this behavior towards the subject of refugees.