Jordan's Prince warns of 'disintegration' of Iraq
Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan warned in Sao Paulo on Tuesday that Iraq was at the risk of splintering into a "mosaic" of minorities that could affect the entire region.
"My fear is that we are descending in a spiral of concerns over the future into a disintegration -- a mosaic of ethnic and sectarian minorities which could affect the region as a whole," he said at a news conference in the cosmopolitan Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.
The prince spoke after a meeting of the Club of Rome at the headquarters of the Sao Paulo state federation of industries (FIESP).
Talal is president of the global think tank, which is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together scientists, economists, business leaders and politicians.
The uncle of Jordan's King Abdullah II criticized as semantics, a debate unleashed by statements on Sunday by former Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who insisted his country is in the grips of civil war. US generals and officials disagreed with Allawi, saying the country was not yet in a civil war.
"We are facing a situation of potential disintegration in the region as a whole," the prince said.
As in the Balkans, he said, "we are mixing apples and oranges talking about Kurds as though it was a religion. Kurdishness is an ethnicity."
Underscoring that Iraq is a rich oil-producing country, Talal expressed regret that this wealth was not reflected in per capital income.
"If a decision is taken whereby a central government manages in administrating federalism, then there will be something in it for everybody," he said, stressing the critical importance of the emergence of national institutions and the inclusion of different parties in the political process.
The Jordanian prince also deplored the absence of a security and cooperation committee in the Middle East.
"The oil-producing region can call for a weapons of mass destruction freeze without reference to Iran or Israel," he said.