Talks with Allawi fruitful, productive: Iraq's Shiite cleric

07:44, July 23, 2010      

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Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al- Sadr told Xinhua Thursday that his meeting with the leader of Iraqi National Movement Ayad Allawi in Damascus was fruitful and productive.

Syria has invited al-Sadr and Allawi to visit Damascus in a bid to step up the pace of the dialogue among different political parties to form a new Iraqi government.

During his interview with Xinhua, al-Sadr denied meeting with anyone from the State of Law coalition led by Nuri al-Maliki in the Iranian city of Qum.

Iraqi media reported recently that a delegation of State of Law coalition had visited al-Sadr in his residence in Qum as he accepted al-Maliki as a prime minister.

Al-Sadr stressed that he supports agendas and programs rather than individuals, noting that services are missed in Iraq at the moment and the Iraqi people are leading a miserable life.

He also renewed his call for the acceleration of forming the Iraqi government which can maintain security and stability of the war-torn country, adding the instability would give the U.S. forces the pretext to interfere again.

The Shiite cleric on Monday accused the United States of standing behind the disorder in Iraq.

He also warned Arab countries and the UN of interfering in the Iraqi affairs, saying the solution must be dialogue among the different Iraqi parties.

About his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, al- Sadr confirmed that al-Assad bears the Iraqi people's worries and wants the security and stability to be achieved in Iraq.

During his meeting with al-Sadr and Allawi here on Monday, al- Assad stressed his country's full support to form the new Iraqi government as soon as possible.

Since the March 7 parliamentary elections, Iraqi politicians have been bickering about who should has the right to form the next government.

Al-Maliki's State of Law coalition narrowly lost to Allawi's Iraqi bloc, but neither side gained the majority needed to govern outright.

On July 9 in Beirut, Allawi said negotiations among the various parties are now in their final stages and he hoped to conclude this matter in the near future.

Source: Xinhua


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