Source Pravda.Ru

US says changes to Iraqi constitution possible

US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Tuesday that changes to the draft constitution are still possible, raising the hopes of Iraq's disgruntled Sunni Arabs.

Pravda.ru reported earlier, that U.S. warplanes struck three suspected al-Qaida targets near the Syrian border, killing what the U.S. military called a "known terrorist." Iraqi officials said 45 people died, most in fighting between an Iraqi tribe that supports the foreign fighters and another that opposes them.

The nation's Sunni Arabs had demanded revisions in the constitution, finalized last weekend by the Shiite-Kurdish majority over Sunni objections. A Shiite leader said only minor editing would be accepted, because the draft was ready for an Oct. 15 referendum.

But Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said he believed "a final, final draft has not yet been, or the edits have not been, presented yet," an indication to Shiites and Kurds that Washington wants another bid to accommodate the Sunnis.

"That is something that Iraqis will have to talk to each other [about] and decide for themselves," Khalilzad said, speaking alongside a major Sunni Arab community leader who denounced the current draft and accused the Shiite-dominated government's security forces of assassinating Sunnis.

The Bush administration wants a constitution acceptable to all Iraqi factions to help quell the Sunni-dominated insurgency so that U.S. and other foreign troops can begin to go home.

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