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'Failed' American envoy to leave Iraq

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1961449.ece Failed American envoy to leave Iraq By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil, northern Iraq Published:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 7, 2006
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      http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1961449.ece

      'Failed' American envoy to leave Iraq
      By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil, northern Iraq
      Published: 07 November 2006

      Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy in Baghdad who tried to
      conciliate the Sunni people, is to leave his post in
      the next few months said a senior member of the US
      administration.

      "Khalilzad really failed because greater Sunni
      political participation has not reduced the violence
      and has at the same time angered the Shia," said a
      senior Kurdish political figure.

      Appointed ambassador to Iraq in April 2005 Mr
      Khalilzad played a highly active role in Iraqi
      politics but the crisis has worsened dramatically
      during his tenure.

      The Afghan-born Mr Khalilzad was more effective than
      his predecessors in cultivating Iraqi political
      leaders. He sought to amend the Iraqi constitution
      before it was approved in a referendum in October so
      it would be more acceptable to the Sunni community
      that largely supports armed resistance to the US
      occupation. Mr Khalilzad also played a central role in
      getting rid of the prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari
      only to find that his successor Nouri al-Maliki was
      more resistant to US demands.

      Mr Khalilzad was skilful in cultivating good personal
      relations with Iraqi politicians but often found they
      did not have the power to deliver what he wanted.

      His critics say he did not appreciate that Iraq is
      very different from Afghanistan where he was US envoy.

      While willing to open talks with some Sunni insurgent
      groups Mr Khalilzad found the most powerful ones
      wanted to expel the US, not negotiate.

      Mr Khalilzad is likely to stay into the spring the US
      official said. His likely successor will be Ryan
      Crocker, a senior career diplomat who is currently US
      ambassador to Pakistan.

      In Baghdad, the chief prosecutor said the Iraqi
      appeals court is expected to rule on the guilty
      verdict on Saddam Hussein by mid-January. If affirmed
      he could be hanged within 30 days.

      Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy in Baghdad who tried to
      conciliate the Sunni people, is to leave his post in
      the next few months said a senior member of the US
      administration.

      "Khalilzad really failed because greater Sunni
      political participation has not reduced the violence
      and has at the same time angered the Shia," said a
      senior Kurdish political figure.

      Appointed ambassador to Iraq in April 2005 Mr
      Khalilzad played a highly active role in Iraqi
      politics but the crisis has worsened dramatically
      during his tenure.

      The Afghan-born Mr Khalilzad was more effective than
      his predecessors in cultivating Iraqi political
      leaders. He sought to amend the Iraqi constitution
      before it was approved in a referendum in October so
      it would be more acceptable to the Sunni community
      that largely supports armed resistance to the US
      occupation. Mr Khalilzad also played a central role in
      getting rid of the prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari
      only to find that his successor Nouri al-Maliki was
      more resistant to US demands.

      Mr Khalilzad was skilful in cultivating good personal
      relations with Iraqi politicians but often found they
      did not have the power to deliver what he wanted.

      His critics say he did not appreciate that Iraq is
      very different from Afghanistan where he was US envoy.

      While willing to open talks with some Sunni insurgent
      groups Mr Khalilzad found the most powerful ones
      wanted to expel the US, not negotiate.

      Mr Khalilzad is likely to stay into the spring the US
      official said. His likely successor will be Ryan
      Crocker, a senior career diplomat who is currently US
      ambassador to Pakistan.

      In Baghdad, the chief prosecutor said the Iraqi
      appeals court is expected to rule on the guilty
      verdict on Saddam Hussein by mid-January. If affirmed
      he could be hanged within 30 days.
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