AP Interview: UN envoy says Iraq must hear Sunnis

AP News
Posted: Feb 11, 2013 8:01 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.N. envoy to Iraq says the Shiite-led government can do more to address demands by the country's restive Sunni minority.

Sunnis have staged mass protests, demanding the release of thousands they say are held arbitrarily under counter-terrorism regulations. They want these laws rescinded, along with other policies they say target Sunnis unfairly. The government formed a committee to consider the demands.

U.N. envoy Martin Kobler told The Associated Press on Monday that "there is more the government could do" to deal with the demands.

He says issues the protesters raised concerning the rule of law and human rights "are all problems the government can solve tomorrow."

At the same time, Kobler says he believes the government is taking the issue seriously.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment.