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THE BLOG 03/08/2007 04:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Members of U.S. Congress Conduct Live Video Conference with Members of Iraq Parliament

By Dal LaMagna

Congressman Jim McDermott convened Members of the U.S. Congress in the House Recording Studio in the Rayburn Building to speak with Members of the Iraq Parliament who were convened in a studio in Amman Jordan by Dal LaMagna and Raed Jarrar of the Progressive Government Institute.

Six Democrats: Jim McDermott D-WA, William Delahunt D-MA, Keith Ellison D-MN, Jay Inslee D-WA, Lynne Woolsey D-CA and Michael Honda D-CA, were joined three Republicans Christopher Shays R-CT, Wayne Gilchrest R-MD, and Thomas Petri R-WI. They talked face to face via video uplink with four members of the Iraq Parliament: Mohammed al-Dynee and Saleh al-Mutlaq, both in the Iraq National Dialogue Front a secular party, Sheikh Khalaf al-Elayyan, the leader of Sunni National Dialogue Council and Osama al-Nujaifi, the secular Iraqi National List (Allawi's party). Two Iraq Parliamentarians came into the conversation from Baghdad by telephone: Mr. Hassan Al-Shammari, Secretary of the Shia al-Fadila Party and Dr. Nadim al-Jaberi, the president of the al-Fadila party. (Note: Just yesterday the Shia al-Fadila Party broke away from the Shia United Iraq Alliance.) All of the Members in the conversation represented the "nationalist" political point of view for Iraq. Their position is they want one Iraq to remain after this crisis; they want the U.S. to set a timeline for withdrawal from their country; they want their natural resources controlled by a central government.

This was an historic event because modern day technology overcame impracticality. Congressman McDermott and Delahunt had invited Mohammed al Dynee over to the U.S.A. for conversations last November. As of yesterday, Al-Dynee had yet to receive his Visa. So the live video conference idea was invented. Ironically today Al-Dynee received noticed his Visa was ready.

The conversation lasted two hours. More about what transpired later.

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