Shia leaders urge Sunni Participation in Iraq Poll

Erik Eckholm reported in yesterday’s New York Times that ‘leaders of the country’s most powerful political coalition, which is led by Shiite parties, held a surprise news conference in Baghdad. They urged Sunni Arabs to take part in the elections and sought to dispel fears that they were under the sway of Iran or were trying to establish an Islamic theocracy. The leaders of the coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, said elections must proceed as scheduled despite widespread violence, which is concentrated in Sunni regions north and west of Baghdad.’ (AJ)