Iraq’s Upcoming Historic Settlement…

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 26 February / Feb 2017. 01:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Jordan sees the relationship with Iraq as strategic. One which can greatly contribute to resolving Jordan’s economic problems.

On our part, there is a serious inclination to enhance and advance these ties. However, there are also a plentiful of serious obstacles.

The official and media focus underlines technicalities; like securing safe passage from Amman to Baghdad and back, in order to revitalise transportation and sidekick the oil pipeline project.

Naturally, this is a real obstacle, especially after the terrorist group’s recent attack near the Trebil border cross to the east with Iraq, a few days back, carried out by ISIS, to remind us that even though they are taking considerable military losses, they still have an effective presence and dispersal of active cell.

As concrete as this particular obstacle is, the more crucial one is the political factor in play; the political scene in Iraq itself is extremely tense and charged with sectarianism; in regards to the Iranian influence and the Sunni crisis in particular.

Second, there is the general, mutual negativity between Jordan and Iraq since the US occupation in 2003.

Until recently, Jordan has refrained from directly interfering. That is despite the good relationship Jordan enjoys with the Sunni component of the Iraqi society and the subtle invitations by the Iraqi government and Shiite political forces inside Iraq for Jordan to step in.

Many forces on the inside want Jordan to open up in an alliance of some sort against Nouri Maliki’s parliamentary current, Iraq’s former premier, who was outspokenly hostile towards Jordan, and whose representatives were too, in their stand against signing the mutual Jordan-Iraqi economic accords.

Given Iraq’s internal political disposition, first and foremost, in light of fundamentally disturbed bilateral relations, with the power halls in both countries already decided on moving forward, what is required of Jordan?

Typically, we will not be starting from scratch. There is a historic moment brewing subtly in Iraq, and Jordan can contribute to its maturity.

This historic “settlement”, under the patronage of the UN and by initiative of active Sunni Iraqi figureheads, aims to redefine the ongoing conflict in Iraq as a political-sectarian dispute among Sunnis and Shiites, with an array of dimensions; political, economic, and cultural.

The Iraqi National Shiite Alliance initiative already submitted their proposition to the UN mission, and there is a draft underway in the next few days to be discussed in Amman by the Sunni forces partaking the political operation.

Upon agreement, the proposition will be handed over to the international mission, who in turn will present it to the Sunni powers not participating in the process; the Muslim Scientist Committee, the Baath Party, the resistance, and a variety intellectuals.

Afterwards, when the last paper is formalised, with two; Sunni and Shiite, proposals ready, a joint committee will be formed to discuss the accord and negotiate points of dispute.

Likely, there will be so much to conflict over in these papers, and the journey is long and tiring. But the only alternative is sectarian, civil war, without end.

As an option, these papers mitigate the distance between disputing powers and perhaps even facilitate a historic Iraqi settlement towards political understandings that will last this time, under global and regional guarantees; the UN and neighbouring countries.

There is no other way.

Notably, the vitality of this settlement lies in the fact that it will be reflective on the whole region.

Iraq is more or less the region’s own Pandora’s Box. When it broke open, it released its long stored sectarian evils unto the region, spreading through Syria, the Arab Gulf, and Yemen.

Now, if an accord is reached soon, and the political system is positively restructured, Iraq will be leading by an opposite example; a good one, to pave for reconciliation across the region just as well.

That said, again, what can Jordan do to facilitate the advancement of such accords?

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.