A top advisor to Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki has been forced to resign after revealing that Maliki was considering an amnesty offer for insurgents who kill US soldiers.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office on Thursday accepted the resignation of an aide who had told a reporter that Maliki was considering a limited amnesty that would likely include guerrillas who had attacked U.S. troops, the aide said.
The Maliki aide who resigned, Adnan Ali al-Kadhimi, stood by his account of amnesty considerations, reported Thursday by The Washington Post. Kadhimi said Maliki had indicated the same position less directly in public. “The prime minister himself has said that he is ready to give amnesty to the so-called resistance, provided they have not been involved in killing Iraqis,” Kadhimi said Thursday.
Maliki’s office issued a statement earlier Thursday saying, “Mr. Adnan Kadhimi doesn’t represent the Iraqi government in this issue, and Mr. Kadhimi is not an advisor or spokesman for the prime minister.”
However, another Maliki aide confirmed that amnesty was on the table.
Another Maliki aide, asked if the amnesty being considered by the government was likely to apply to those who had attacked U.S. forces, said Maliki had been “clear, saying those whose hands weren’t stained with Iraqi blood” may be eligible for any amnesty.
That aide spoke on condition of anonymity, saying Maliki had not authorized anyone to speak for him. Another aide declined to comment, on the same grounds.
In Washington, Senate Democrats offered a resolution Thursday demanding that President Bush repudiate the amnesty proposal regarding those who attacked American forces. [Republicans, on the other hand, like the idea.]
And when you actually look at what Maliki has said it seems that amnesty for those who have not killed Iraqis is definitely in play.
Maliki’s broad statements about amnesty, at a news conference Wednesday in Baghdad, marked the first time a leader from Iraq’s dominant Shiite religious parties had indicated openness to pardoning members of the Sunni insurgency.
The statement from Maliki’s office Thursday also said: “It is not true what some of the media outlets including The Washington Post have said about the willingness of the Iraqi government to talk with armed groups.”
At Wednesday’s news conference, Maliki said reconciliation could include an amnesty for those “who weren’t involved in the shedding of Iraqi blood. Also, it includes talks with the armed men who opposed the political process and now want to turn back to political activity.” Maliki’s comments were in Arabic and televised. Other Western media outlets rendered the same translation, although saying “gunmen” instead of “armed men.”