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Officials Say Iraq Won't Be Islamic State
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Mar 13, 2005, 06:31 AM

Officials Say Iraq Won't Be Islamic State
By RAWYA RAGEH, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Ukraine withdrew 150 servicemen from Iraq (news - web sites) on Saturday, beginning a gradual pullout, as Shiite and Kurdish politicians refined plans to form a coalition government that officials said includes an agreement not to turn the country into an Islamic state.


Kurds and alliance officials said both sides agreed that Iraq would not become an Islamic state, a desire also expressed by the country's most powerful Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, said the Kurds would oppose any attempt to turn Iraq into an Islamic state.

"I think the Shiites well understand that implementing an Islamic government will bring a lot of problems," Barzani told Dubai's Al-Arabiya television. "We have an alliance with the Shiites. We were both oppressed, and we both struggled against the old regime, but if they insist on having a religious government we will oppose to them."

An alliance member, Ali al-Dabagh, said there were no plans to turn Iraq into a religious state or a secular one.

"We neither want to establish a religious nor a secular state in Iraq, we want a state that respects the identity of the Iraqi people and the identities of others" al-Dabagh said.

Well this is excellent news! Hopefully it will silence those that think Iraq is going to descend into Civil War. They are on the right track here, lets hope it stays that way.
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