King Abdullah invites Iraqi politicians to reconciliation meeting in Saudi Arabia

October 31, 2010

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued an invitation yesterday calling for the leaders of Iraq’s political parties to come to the Kingdom for a meeting aimed at breaking a months-long impasse preventing the formation of a new government. “I invite His Excellency President Jalal Talabani of the brotherly Republic of Iraq, all parties that participated in the elections, and political actors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to meet, after the holy Hajj period, in Riyadh under the umbrella of the Arab League, in order to seek a solution for every problem facing the formation of the government which has long remained unsolved,” he stated.

King Abdullah appealed to the Iraqi people to overcome their divisions for the sake of Iraq’s future, as well as for the cause of Arab and Islamic unity. “It is well-known to everyone that you are at a crossroads,” he said, “a fact that necessitates your uniting ranks, rising above your wounds, distancing the shadows of differences, and extinguishing the fire of abhorrent sectarianism.” This task, he added, “requires that you resort to reason and muster all strength to shoulder your historical and national responsibility to maintain your heritage and the right of your future generations to live with dignity and pride.”

At a press conference convened today in Riyadh, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal confirmed that the proposed summit will be based upon three main principles:

1. Respect for the unity, sovereignty and independence of Iraq and the preservation of its Arab and Islamic identity.

2. The absence of any preconditions by any country, including the Kingdom, and support for the independent will of Iraq’s leaders and people.

3. The acceptance of any solution supported by Iraqis of all sects that helps Iraq out of its political crisis and facilitates the formation of a government and the achievement of stability.

Prince Saud noted that Iraqi leaders have generally expressed their support and appreciation of this initiative.

Two of Iraq’s main political alliances, the National Coalition Bloc and the Kurdistan Coalition, released statements today lauding King Abdullah’s invitation.