View Full Version : Northern Ireland figures boost Iraq peace talks

09-04-2007, 06:10 PM
Iraqis in secret Finland talks (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6977511.stm)- BBC News, 4 Sep.

Representatives from Iraq's Sunni and Shia groups attending secret talks in Finland have agreed a set of principles aimed at ending sectarian violence.

Politicians from Northern Ireland and South Africa also attended the four-day meeting, to share their experiences of bringing divided communities together.

The Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, was one of the chairmen of the talks.

The event was organised by a conflict prevention group based in Finland. The group, Crisis Management Initiative, released a statement late on Monday, saying the participants had "committed themselves to work towards a robust framework for a lasting settlement" ...

The CMI press release (http://www.cmi.fi/?content=press&id=73)here.

Leading representatives of Iraqi political parties and others linked to a range of groups close to the conflict completed four days of discussions in Finland.

Participants committed themselves to work towards a robust framework for a lasting settlement. Those present agreed to a set of recommendations to start negotiations to reach national reconciliation. These recommendations are contained in the attached Helsinki Agreement. The principles of inclusivity, power-sharing and a commitment to removing the use of violence as a means of resolving political differences were among the most urgent concerns agreed.

Brought together by the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts - Boston, with the assistance of the Crisis Management Initiative, sixteen Iraqi delegates were aided by senior representatives of peace processes of Northern Ireland and South Africa to explore the current situation in Iraq.

Agreement of principles here (http://www.cmi.fi/files/Helsinki_agreement_English.pdf).

I wonder who the Iraqi participants are, and if this can gain any traction.