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Iraqi politician says 2 insurgent groups ready to disarm and begin talks

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4070080.stm Iraq insurgents ready to disarm A prominent Iraqi Sunni politician has said that two insurgent groups are
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2005
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      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4070080.stm

      Iraq insurgents 'ready to disarm'

      A prominent Iraqi Sunni politician has said that two
      insurgent groups are ready to disarm and begin talks
      with the Iraqi government.

      Former minister Ayham al-Samarie said the Islamic Army
      in Iraq and the Mujahideen Army represented more than
      50% of the resistance.

      He said he began contacting the groups' political
      leaders five months ago.

      The Islamic Army has claimed responsibility for
      several attacks and for taking hostages.

      It was not possible to independently verify Mr
      Samarie's claim and the government would not comment
      on the matter, the Associated Press news agency
      reports.

      The disclosure follows reports last week that Prime
      Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari had opened indirect
      channels of communication with some militant groups,
      urging them to lay down their weapons.

      Truce possible

      Mr Samarie, who also discussed his contacts on the
      Dubai-based al-Arabiya satellite network, told AP he
      had not met any of the field commanders of the two
      groups.

      He said no deal had been made on disarming, but a
      truce of limited duration could be arranged to prove
      their goodwill after talks began.

      "We told them that 'no-one knows what you want and you
      must come out to the political arena and make clear
      what is your agenda'," he said.

      "They set no conditions and we agreed with them that
      the time had come for them to come out."

      The Islamic Army claimed responsibility for gunning
      down a commercial helicopter, killing 11 passengers,
      north of Baghdad in April.

      It later posted a video on the internet purporting to
      show the wreckage, and the shooting of the aircraft's
      only survivor.
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