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U.S., Arab Officials: Iraq’s Sectarian Governance Must Go

Saudi National Guard military paradeThe U.S. and its Middle Eastern allies believe that Iraq needs to form an inclusive government in order to end the ongoing insurgency and political instability, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Jay Solomon and Carol Lee write that some U.S. and Arab officials have called on the White House to push for change in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s governance in exchange for helping stabilize Iraq.

“We believe that Maliki’s sectarianism and exclusion of Sunnis has led to the insurgency we are seeing,” a senior Arab official said, according to WSJ.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been politically excluding the Sunni Arab minority despite advice and warnings from the Obama administration over the past five years, Solomon and Lee write.

“The Iraqi people will have to decide the makeup of the next coalition government and who is the prime minister,” Jay Carney, a White House spokesman, told the publication.

“Whether it’s the current prime minister or another leader, we will aggressively attempt to impress upon that leader the absolute necessity of rejecting sectarian governance,” Carney added, according to the article.

President Barack Obama has proposed adopting a political process to stop the ongoing conflict between Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite communities.

WSJ reports that Brett McGurk, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of Iraq, and Secretary of State John Kerry are consulting with Middle Eastern leaders regarding the White House’s plan.

Both the U.S. and Iranian governments have vowed to support Iraq’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaeda-linked organization, according to Solomon and Lee’s report.

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