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Iraq’s Sunnis eye post-IS future under regional cover

Under Arab and international sponsorship, Iraq’s Sunni leaders recently attended a conference in Turkey to discuss the future of Sunnis in post-IS Iraq, with the conference sparking Shiite outrage and dissent among other Sunni officials opposed to the Turkish role in Iraq.
An Iraqi soldier walks next to a wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants, during a battle with Islamic State militants near Arabi neighborhood, north of Mosul, Iraq, January 21, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily - RTSWOU6

BAGHDAD — In an attempt to establish a new Sunni political reference, Turkey, backed by Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the United States, hosted closed meetings for Iraqi Sunni figures March 8. Held over two days, the meetings discussed the political road map for post-Islamic State (IS) Iraq.

Participants in the conference included Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi, the leader of the Mutahidoun bloc; former Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi; former Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq; the leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party Ayad al-Samarrai; Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili; the leader of the Arab Project Khamis al-Khanjar; former Ninevah Gov. Atheel al-Nujaifi; the head of the Forces Alliance parliamentary bloc Ahmad al-Massari; the head of the “Solution” parliamentary bloc Mohammad al-Karbouli; Association of Muslim Scholars Secretary-General Muthanna al-Dhari; and a number of lawmakers, tribal leaders and clerics.

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