By Mohamed al-Ghazi BAGHDAD, Nov 25 (KUNA) — Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel-Mahdi said here Sunday the Iraqi government would issue a declaration of intent soon, reshaping Iraq’s relation with the US and setting a timetable for the presence of multinational forces in Iraq. He made the remarks during a news conference following a gathering of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.“The Iraqi government will issue a declaration of intent in order to clarify the shape of the relation with the US,” he said. But, he said such a declaration would envision an agreement that could set a schedule for the presence of multinational forces on Iraq’s soil.
He added that the Iraqi government would extend the mandate of multinational forces in Iraq at the advent of next month, making it clear that this “would be the final extension that would be followed by an agreement that could restore Iraq’s full sovereignty.” The Iraqi vice president reiterated support for putting a federal system in place and enacting a law of regions.
“The federal system is neither a luxurious matter nor an ideological stance. Rather, it is a fact and a constitutional demand that should be put in place. The Iraqi people voted for that, and the parliament adopted a draft law on the formation of regions. We have a few months ahead to arrive at a final formula,” Abdel-Mahdi said. The federal system will be conducive to a genuine political system in Iraq, he added.
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Vice President Adil Abdel-Mahdi
Abdul-Mahdi is interviewed at his home in Baghdad, Feb. 27, 2005. (Photo: AP )
Adil Abdel-Mahdi was chosen as one of two interim vice presidents; he’d previously served as minister of finance in the government formed after the United States transferred power to the Iraqis.Abdel-Mahdi is an official in the powerful Shiite Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Long based in neighboring Iran, the group opposed a U.S. administration but holds close ties with the other U.S.-backed groups that opposed Saddam Hussein, including the Kurds and the Iraqi National Congress.
He was educated in France, and is the son of a respected Shiite cleric who was a minister in Iraq’s monarchy.