News: Iraqi leaders commit to unity during summit
Story by Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti
By Spc. Shejal Pulivarti
1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq –Sheiks of all tribes, Iraqi Army and police leaders, representatives of the Iraqi government and leaders from the 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and Multi-National Division-Baghdad gathered at an Iraqi Police station in Nassir Wa Salam, Iraq to discuss further steps to advance bringing the region back to the government of Iraq during the Northwest Baghdad Regional Security Summit Dec 6.
Approximately 1,000 sheiks and local leaders attended the second installment of a series of reconciliation meetings that have taken place between the Sunni and Shia sheiks in the 1st Cavalry Division's area of operations. Tribal and governmental leadership from Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, Tarmiyah, and the Anbar province came together to meet with senior leaders from the Baghdad provincial government, national government and the Iraqi Security Forces.
The meeting was recognized by representatives of the prime minister, councilmen, senior Iraqi tribal and military leaders as well as the national party, Iraq Awakening.
"This meeting is a great opportunity to bring together local leaders, tribal leaders and government leaders to speak with the national and provincial government to develop solutions to the problems in the area." said Boulder, Colo., native Maj. Geoffrey Norman, executive officer, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. "It affords them the opportunity to exchange dialogue on how to move forward and rid the community of the cancer of extremism."
The gathering focused on the development of a security sustained by Iraqi security forces supported by the government allowing coalition forces to shift away from direct involvement in security to focusing on the efforts for establishing essential services headed by Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams.
"The people of this community and the government have demonstrated their willingness to serve," said Lt. Col. Kurt Pinkerton, commander of 2-5 Cavalry. "That's the reason security is the way it is, the people are willing to serve. This is the beginning of unity."