London, ENGLAND (Al-Hayat) - Washington may be planning a semi-autonomous entity for Assyrians in North Iraq. According to al-Hayat Newspaper in London, the US Administration is planning to establish a “Federal Democratic Republic” in Iraq after overthrowing Saddam Hussain's Baathist regime. The report says that the new Iraqi Republic will comprise “Three separate entities administered by local and elected representative councils inside a united Iraq that will be ruled by a central federal government in Baghdad.”
Washington's plan calls for “dividing Iraq into a Kurdish-Turkoman-Assyrian region north of the 36th line of latitude; an Arab Shi'ite region in the south; and an Arab Sunni region in the center.” A central government in Baghdad will administer defense, foreign policy, and oil and energy policies. The decentralization of the government will allow establishment of local governments within each regions.
According to al-Hayat, Washington has begun discussions with Iran, Turkey, and other Arab countries “to reassure countries neighboring Iraq that their interests will not be threatened” when the plan gets underway.
In Beirut, Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan al-Mu'ashir denied Jordan's prior knowledge of this plan and commented that “an alternative regime cannot be imposed from the outside.”