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Former California state senator Tom Hayden is reporting that U.S. officials have secretly been involved in direct contacts with the Sunni armed resistance to explore a ceasefire in Iraq and even the possible replacement of the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government with an interim one.

http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=06/11/27/1447210

Tom Hayden: Documents Reveal Secret Talks Between U.S. and Armed Iraqi Resistance

Monday, November 27th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/11/27/1447210

Former California state senator Tom Hayden is reporting that U.S. officials have secretly been involved in direct contacts with the Sunni armed resistance to explore a ceasefire in Iraq and even the possible replacement of the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government with an interim one.

 


Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders in Iraq's government called on Sunday for an end to the escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq. The joint appeal comes three days after over 200 people were killed in a siege on the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in what has been described as the deadliest attack on Iraqis since the war began. Hundreds of more Iraqis died over the weekend in reprisal killings.

The statement came after leading Sunni cleric Harith al-Dhari called for Arab countries to withdraw their recognition of the Iraqi government. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is coming under intense pressure from Sunni and Shia groups as he prepares for a summit in Jordan with President Bush this week. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, has threatened to pull his followers from government and parliament if the proposed meeting goes ahead.

Meanwhile Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is due to fly to Iran to hold talks with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss the situation in Iraq.

This comes as the New York Times is reporting that a draft report written by the Iraq Study Group is urging the US government to seek an aggressive regional diplomatic initiative that includes direct talks with Iran and Syria but sets no timetables for a military withdrawal.

There has been increasing debate within the United States over a possible US withdrawal. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post reported that US officials have secretly been involved in direct contacts with the Sunni armed resistance to explore a ceasefire. The article was written by Tom Hayden. A former California State Senator, Hayden was a leader of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era. His latest article is Documents Reveal Secret Talks Between U.S. and Armed Iraqi Resistance.

 

  • Tom Hayden, a former California State Senator. He joins us on the line from California.
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