Dep PM: “I was Mistaken” in Joining Govt

By Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq (pictured), head of the al-Arabiya Coalition, has said that a political solution is the only way to unite the positions of Shiites and Sunni tribes and isolate armed groups and called the fall of Mosul a natural result of the faulty structure of the Iraqi army.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Mutlaq said it had been a mistake to accept the post of deputy prime minister within the context of partisan and sectarian agreements.

He affirmed that the policies of oppression and marginalization from which the Sunnis suffered are what pushed them to call for their own region. He stressed that the United States is responsible for what is happening in Iraq, as it ousted a dictatorship full of flaws yet with functioning state institutions.

The text of the interview follows:

Al-Monitor: The surprising agreement among Sunni forces to enter parliament in a single coalition drew the attention of observers. How did that happen?

Mutlaq: We do not believe in any alliances that are built on sectarian, ethnic or doctrinal bases. The primary foundation of our alliance is nationalism and public interest as well as achieving the demands of citizens. We exerted as much effort as possible prior to the elections to find a cross-sectarian national front, yet other forces were — and still are — insistent on dividing the people of a single nation into various groups, sects and races.

Our final alliance was based on the importance of consensus and implementing the demands of the provinces that held sit-ins and demanded the preservation of their residents’ dignity.

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