Iraqi rivals meet in Kurdistan to end political deadlock

20:15, November 08, 2010      

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Iraqi political rivals held a meeting Monday in Kurdistan region in northern the country in a bid to reach a breakthrough power-sharing deal that could resolve the country's political deadlock after eight months of the country 's parliamentary elections.

The meeting was attended by the leaders of the political blocs, including the incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, and his rival the former prime minister Ayad Allawi, who heads the cross-sectarian bloc of Iraqia.

"It is a historic moment to meet together to discuss and agree on the country's future and develop it in a way that meet the ambitions of the Iraqi people," Massud Bazani, the president of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, told the conference in the televised meeting.

"The previous meetings have already put forward some understandings among the political blocs with regard to the formation of new national government," Barzani said.

For his part, Maliki said that Arbil's meeting must achieve three essential needs; "the national unity among Iraqi factions, accomplishing national reconciliation and applying real national partnership that means we have to be open to all Iraqi parties which want to be part of the political process."

Ayad Allawi, Maliki's main rival, told the conference that " there is a need for rapidly forming a government based on the elections results and that has the ability to reform the course of the political process away from sectarianism, partisanship and racism."

Maliki was fighting for another term for the premier post but he is facing bitter resistance from his rival Ayad Allawi, who gained narrow win with two seats in the country's March 7 polls, and the Shiite religious party of Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, headed by Ammar al-Hakim.

The political leaders will continue their meetings in Arbil Monday and will resume their meetings again in Baghdad at 6:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Tuesday, according to Roj Nuri Shawis, Iraq's Kurdish deputy prime minister and head of the Kurdish alliance's negotiation team.

The meeting came a day after the government spokesman Ali al- Dabbagh said that some political blocs reached an agreement that Maliki will stay in office for another term.

"The political blocs reached an agreement yesterday in which prime minister Nuri al-Maliki will stay on, while the Iraqia political bloc will choose a candidate for the parliament speaker post," Dabbagh said.

The latest announcement came as the Kurdish president of the regional government Massud Barzani invited all Iraqi political blocs to hold a meeting on Monday in Arbil in an attempt to solve the differences between the country's political blocs over forming a new government since March 7 parliamentary elections.

Source: Xinhua


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