First Published: 2003-05-07

Pachachi back to Iraq after 33 years in exile

Iraq's former foreign minister insists he will only play role in interim government if he is elected.


Middle East Online

Interim government has to be elected and not nominated by someone else

BAGHDAD - Former foreign minister Adnan Pachachi, tipped for a key role in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, insisted Wednesday he will only take part in an interim government if he is elected.

Pachachi, who returned to Iraq on Tuesday after 33 years in exile, turned down a seat on a US-sanctioned leadership council of opposition leaders that is taking a lead role in forming the new government.

"What is important now is not the leadership council but the interim government which has to be elected and not nominated by someone else," the octogenarian told a packed Baghdad press conference.

"It has to be elected by a broadly based Iraqi conference in which all political forces and persuasions in Iraq are represented," he said.

"As far as myself taking part I will only, only accept a role if I am elected."

The council, on which five major Iraqi movements are represented, is selecting the hundreds of delegates who will attend a national congress to choose an Iraqi interim government in the next few weeks.

Pachachi was the only Sunni Muslim Arab to be offered a seat on the council set up in February, but he declined it and went on to create the Independent Iraqis for Democracy (IID) party in London in March.

"My plan is to consult with all political groups in and outside Iraq on the rebuilding of the country," he said.

He added the interim government should enact a new electoral law and ensure basic freedoms "so the people of Iraq will be able to engage in normal political activity."

Pachachi, who has been living in the United Arab Emirates' capital of Abu Dhabi since 1970, while also spending time in London, said returning after his long exile left him feeling "joy mixed with sadness."

"But this really has given me an added determination to see what has happened to Iraq should be overturned and the situation in Iraq should be restored to what it was before."


Assad warns Russia failure may result in ‘destruction’ of whole Middle East

Tunisia President in Egypt for talks on regional issues

In rare step, Israel bars Palestinians from Jerusalem Old City

UAE to invest $35 billion in clean energy by 2021

Sohaib El Oussani reveals backstage of Europe Orient Documentary Film in Asilah

Tunisia joins anti-ISIS coalition to ‘obtain information’

ISIS gunmen shoot dead two Egypt policemen in Sinai

Trump prefers to 'sit back' and see what happens in Syria

Police arrest suspected ISIS recruiters in Spain, Morocco

Turkey, EU strike plan to stem flow of migrants

Iran nuclear review panel gives conditional nod to flawed deal

Erdogan urges Putin to reconsider air campaign in Syria

Iran expels Bahrain envoy in apparent retaliation

First hajj stampede bodies arrive in Iran from Saudi Arabia

US urges Libya rivals to move forward with peace deal

Israeli fire wounds at least 10 Palestinians in West Bank

UAE holds election for advisory council

Erdogan faces tough talks in meeting with EU leaders

Russia airstrikes target ISIS infrastructure facilities in Syria

Powers condemn targeting of Syrian opposition by Russia

Turkey accuses Russia of hitting Syria rebels to bolster Assad

Palestinians kill Israeli couple in West Bank shooting

Russia again strikes Assad regime's foes

Iran backs Russian military strategy in Syria

S&P: Gulf banks' net earnings set to slide

Russia confirms new air strikes on targets in Syria

12 killed in Ankara bus stop crash

Syrians, Afghans clash in German refugee centre

South Sudan's peace deal means little in Koch swamps

Trump: If I’m elected, Syrians go back home!

Iran says 464 dead in Saudi hajj stampede

Saudi, Iran agree to repatriate dead pilgrims

Abbas: Palestinians no longer feel bound by past agreements with Israel

Russia, US to hold ‘de-confliction’ talks on Syria

Three conditions as France voices concern over Russia involvement in Syria

Iraq Kurdish forces recapture land from ISIS jihadists

Tunisia buries Sousse gunman under strict security cordon

Iran diplomat missing after hajj stampede

Six days after hajj tragedy, Iran-Saudi tensions escalate

For first time in history, Palestinians to raise flag at UN

Finland freezes asylum decisions for Iraq, Somalia refugees

UK Labour Party ready to support Syria airstrikes, with conditions

Iran Foreign Minister under fire over ‘Obama handshake’

Parliamentary and religious support as Russia launches airstrikes in Syria

Assad regime strikes kill 27 civilians in central Syria