Sunni Bloc Signals Return to Iraq Cabinet

Group cites amnesty law, anti-Shiite crackdown as positives
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 3:04 PM CDT
Mahdi Army fighters are seen on a road in Basra, Iraq.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The biggest Sunni bloc in Iraq is returning to the government after a nine-month boycott, encouraged by a new amnesty law and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s redoubled attention to Shiite militias, the New York Times reports. Which cabinet positions the Tawafiq bloc will get, and which members will hold them, is still up in the air.

General amnesty has already seen the release of jailed Sunnis, and the bloc was heartened by the shift in focus to Shiite militants. The head of Tawafiq was cautious in discussing the agreement, saying, “our conditions were very clear, and the government achieved some of them;” Iraqi state television was less tentative, reporting that “the reconciliation has proved a success.”