WASHINGTON, April 25: Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi said on Sunday that the top UN envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, is too controversial to bring together the country's competing political groups. "He is a controversial figure. He's not a unifying figure," Chalabi told "Fox News Sunday."
"He is supposed to be a unifying figure to choose a government t hat will be effective." "I hope that he will work out a way to respond to the wishes of the Iraqi people with what they think they should have and I believe that he should be more sensitive to the realities of Iraq," he said.
Brahimi last week laid out his proposals for a caretaker Iraqi government to be set up before June 30, while calling for a peaceful settlement of the US-led coalition's showdown with the guerillas. The UN envoy has stressed that Iraq would have a truly representative government only after elections scheduled for next January, which he has described as the most important milestone in post-war Iraq.
Brahimi was asked on ABC television's "This Week" news programme what he thought about criticism that being a Sunni Muslim could affect his fairness as a UN diplomat. "You know, I don't know how to answer that, because, you know, (it) doesn't come into my thinking that I am a Sunni," Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister, replied. "I am a UN man. I am definitely a Muslim. And I come from country where, you know, there are no problems of Sunni and Shias."
He added: "Frankly, I think it's silly, you know, to suggest that I may have a problem because I am Sunni, that I favor the Sunnis against - on the Shias. Why should I do that?"
Asked whether he has heard that type of criticism in Iraq, he said: "No, I have heard that some people have said that. But, you know, I think some of those people have agendas that have nothing to do with the fact that I'm a Sunni."
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the United States and Brahimi have decided to sideline most of the Iraqi politicians Washington has relied on during the last year. -AFP