CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Leaders of Iraq’s sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq’s opposition had a “legitimate right” of resistance.
The final communique, hammered out at the end of three days of negotiations at a preparatory reconciliation conference under the auspices of the Arab League, condemned terrorism, but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.
The participants in Cairo agreed on “calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces … control the borders and the security situation” and end terror attacks.
The conference was attended by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish lawmakers, as well as leading Sunni politicians.
This is the first clear signal that the US should get out. Between calls to get out here, and this one from Iraq itself, the Bush Administration has no real excuse.