A conference to reconcile Iraq's warring political groups began to unravel even before it got under way on Tuesday, with the main Sunni Muslim Arab bloc pulling out and protesting it had not been properly invited.
The gathering, billed as the biggest of its kind in Iraq, aimed to bring leaders of rival factions together around much-delayed so-called laws meant to promote common cause between majority Shi'ites and minority Sunni Arabs.
The Accordance Front, the main Sunni Arab bloc, had said it would attend but pulled out as dozens of political leaders gathered at a hotel in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.
"The Front will not attend the conference, not because it does not believe in reconciliation ... but because the invitations were sent to members of the Front and not formally to the Accordance Front," spokesman Salim al-Jubouri said.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Nobody could not have anticipated