Dubai: Kurds turned down a Saudi invitation for the leaders of political blocs in Iraq to meet in Riyadh after the Haj on November 18, saying that King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz's initiative will complicate the Iraqi problem rather than solve it.
Political analysts view this move by the Kurds as the demise of the Saudi initiative as the Kurds are wary of the Arab League's involvement in the formation of the Iraqi government.
Shiite blocs, including the alliance of the outgoing Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, in turn, said they will go ahead with the presidential initiative to meet this week in Erbil.
"We are confident the representatives of the Iraqi people are able... to reach a deal to form a national partnership government," said legislator Hassan Al Sunaid, reading from a statement that he said came from the Shiite National Alliance.
"Though we express our appreciation to Saudi Arabia for its concern about the situation, we would like to confirm Iraqi leaders are continuing ... their meetings to reach a national consensus."
Mahmoud Othman, leader of the Kurdish bloc, said the timing of the Saudi initiative was not suitable because it would disturb the common ground being reached among the Iraqi leaders during the past months.
Bassim Al Awadi, spokesman for the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq, said the council was waiting the official invitation from Saudi Arabia and the mechanism according to which the Saudis would propose a solution for the current stalemate.
Secular and Sunni blocs including the Iraqiya welcomed the move and said they will offer their support to make it successful.
Saleh Al Mutlaq, an ex-MP of Iraq and head of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, told Gulf News from his self-exile in Amman, Jordan, that the Saudi initiative will ensure that Iraqis were not at the mercy of their non-Arab neighbours.
Pointing to Iran, he said all neighbours of Iraq, including Iran, must support the initiative as it would be the last chance before the breakup of the country.