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Credible democracy will take time - 2003-04-07

Monday, 2003, April 7

Creating a credible democracy in Iraq will be a long and difficult process, according to the Aga Khan, billionaire spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims, in an interview to appear on Tuesday.'Democracy has not been applied in Iraq for a very long time,' he said in Tuesday's edition of the French Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix.
'Putting in place a credible system will take time and will be difficult. Afghanistan proves that,' said Prince Karim Aga Khan, leader of the Ismaili group of Islam's Shi'ite branch.
The solution depended on five basic questions: the role of the United Nations in Iraqi reconstruction, the possibility of temporary Anglo-American 'colonisation,' a possible election victory by a Shi'ite group, the possibility of an alliance between the Shi'ites and Iran and Yemen, and relations between Shi'ites and Sunnis on one hand, and Shi'ite Arabs and Sunni Arabs on the other.
Shi'ites and Sunnis are the two main branches of Islam.
'Confronted with these questions, it's said the Iraqis will decide for themselves,' the Aga Khan said: 'But the post-Taliban situation in Afghanistan shows the difficulty of uniting a country, changing a regime and finding leaders to lead the change'.
Complete French Interview
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