August 16, 2005

Jalal Talabani


From Bloomberg: Talabani, U.S. Envoy Optimistic Iraq to End Deadlock.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said they're optimistic that Iraqi negotiators will complete drafting the country's permanent constitution before a week-long extension to the process expires on Aug. 22.

The deadline was extended because more time was needed to hammer out the language of the document, though a general agreement on key issues had been reached, Talabani said in a statement following a press conference. ...

Iraqi leaders have agreed on "the most critical issues," including the role of Islam, basic rights, and the structure of government, Khalilzad said. He didn't say what the obstacles are. Self-determination, the distribution of natural resources and women's rights have been among the contentious points.

UPDATE -- Aug. 17: From FoxNews: Talabani Clears Way for Executions.

President Jalal Talabani has paved the way for the first legal execution in Iraq since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein, the presidential office said Wednesday. The case involves three men sentenced to hang for murdering three policemen.

Any death sentence must be approved by the three-member presidential council headed by Talabani, who has voiced opposition to capital punishment in the past. He still refuses to sign the authorization document, but his office said he had authorized one of his vice presidents, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, to do so instead.

Abdul-Mahdi signed the order but it was unclear if the sentence had been carried out. Executions in Iraq are by hanging.

Posted by Forkum at August 16, 2005 09:13 PM