[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 15 October 2005, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Iraq vote divides region's press

Many papers in the Middle East hail the constitutional referendum in Iraq as a historic turning point in the country's politics.

But others fear the vote will not stop the violence or prevent Iraq from falling apart.

Egypt's Al-Ahram

The referendum on Iraq's constitution today is a crucial step to strengthen the political process and put an end to the spiral of violence... It is important for all Iraqi people to participate... This is a democratic and civilised way for people to express their opinions peacefully, not through violence.

Iran's Al-Vefagh

The referendum can be regarded as a crucial step in Iraq's history... It is a step which will pave the way for a national government that will be able to decide Iraq's future.


It is of paramount importance for the Iraqi people to have their say... and vote for Iraq's unity and progress... Iraq's future today is in the hands of the Iraqis themselves.

Iran News

The approval of the constitution will definitely have positive results. First, the Iraqi people will have a say in their national affairs and obtain their civil rights. Iraq may also experience a decline in the prevailing chaos.

Qatar's Al-Rayah

Iraq today will witness a historic event whose outcome will decide the country's political future... Whether the constitution is accepted or rejected, there is a pressing need for people to return to reason and wisdom to resolve tension.

UAE's Al-Bayan

The Iraqi people today should prove to the world that they are the sole masters of their fate... Iraq today will sit a demanding test, and we hope that they will finally be given the opportunity to voice their will in an honest and objective fashion.

London-based Al-Hayat

The referendum on the draft constitution is meant to help bring things back to normal in Iraq. Whatever its shortcomings and the objections to it, we should bless this initiative aimed at restoring stability.

Lebanon's Al-Safir

The referendum is not a bad choice, because it is first and foremost a sign that the US-UK occupation is no longer willing or able to create a new Iraqi dictatorship... and because it gives Iraqis the chance to express their views... However, al-Zarqawi will be the one to make the referendum look like a suicide operation.

Lebanon's Al-Anwar

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, it is unlikely that the Iraqi people will be able to get over their ordeal in a country that is threatened with disintegration.

Saudi Ukaz

The endorsement of the Iraqi constitution... will not stop the spiral of violence in the country. The proposal of Arab League secretary general [Amr Moussa], calling for a national summit attended by all Iraqi national forces and parties, is the best solution to bring about reconciliation among Iraqis and prevent the country from sliding into civil war.

Jordan's Al-Ra'y

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Iraq's future remains bleak and doubtful... There is no point in Mr Moussa visiting Iraq since this country... is on the brink of chaos.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific