Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Comprehensive Diplomatic Initiative for the Stabilization of Iraq

On December 19, 2007, Representatives Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Walter Jones (R-NC), Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), John Murtha (D-PA), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) quietly introduced a new bipartisan resolution, H.Con.Res. 274, the Comprehensive Diplomatic Initiative for the Stabilization of Iraq Act of 2008.

The bill was introduced following President Bush’s announcement that the drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq had begun and will continue in the coming months. Members of Congress believe any responsible drawdown in U.S. troops requires a more comprehensive and regional diplomatic initiative and the creation of an adequate diplomatic and political infrastructure to help reconcile Iraq’s fledging government.

H.Con.Res. 274 urges the need for a collaborative effort between the President, the administration and government of Iraq to initiate, develop and implement a sustained comprehensive regional and multilateral diplomatic initiative. It also expresses the vital role that the United Nations Security Council, United Nations Secretary General, Iraq’s neighboring states, regional organizations such as, the Arab League and non-governmental organizations should play in achieving this effort.

The bill also recommends the implementation of Iraq Study Group Recommendation 9, which states, “Under the aegis of the New Diplomatic Offensive and the [Iraq International] Support Group, the United States should engage directly with Iran and Syria in order to try to obtain their commitment to constructive policies toward Iraq and other regional issues. In engaging with Syria and Iran, the United States should consider incentives, as well as disincentives, in seeking constructive results.”

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