Baghdad (NINA)- Wednesday's newspapers mainly highlighted the reopening ceremony of Sarrafiya bridge, the intended long-term agreement between Iraq and the United States, in addition to other security and political issues.
Sarrafiya Bridge was inaugurated last Tuesday during a ceremony attended by Premier Nouri al-Maliki after a reconstruction process that lasted for nearly a year.
Al-Sabah quoted al-Maliki as saying in the ceremony that the bridge is dearly cherished by the people of Iraq, adding that its destruction last year was a "clear-cut proof of the terrorists' intention to destroy Iraq and hinder its progress."
Al-Mada said the inauguration ceremony was attended, in addition to PM al-Maliki, by ministers, members of parliament as well as civil and security officials.
Over the ongoing negotiations to hold a long-term agreement between Iraq and the United States to regulate future bilateral relations, al-Mashriq quoted a source "close to Cleric Ali al-Sistani's office" as saying that al-Sistani has not yet declared an opinion on the long-term agreement, however, Sistani stressed that Iraqi officials "should inform Iraqis on the decisions they take in this regard."
The paper quoted Salah al-Ubaydi, spokesman for Muqtada al-Sadr, as saying that the Sadr Trend has announced "major reservations over holding such an agreement," and that the reached religious judgment is to prohibit holding it, adding that he had unconfirmed reports that al-Sistani has rejected it.
Azzaman said the Political Council of National Security has recommended continuing negotiations with the US negotiating team over the long-term agreement. The Kurdistani Alliance MP Mahmoud Othman has called, according to Azzaman, to put the agreement draft for public referendum, criticizing starting negotiations over the future agreement before relieving Iraq of the mandate of UN Charter's 7th Chapter, as that would not achieve "balance and equivalence between the two parties."
The second conference on the UN sponsored International Compact with Iraq will be held in Stockholm, Sweden next Thursday with the participation of high-ranking Iraqi delegation, headed by Premier Nouri al-Maliki.
Al-Adala wrote that MP Hasan al-Sinaid of the United Iraqi Alliance stated that PM al-Maliki will call upon the participant states to open their embassies in Baghdad. PM al-Maliki will review the progress made by the Iraqi side in implementing its commitments in accordance with the Compact agreement, demanding the international community, in turn, to adhere to its commitments made during the first conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. /End/