Maliki announces new alliance

The Iraqi prime minister and president on Thursday announced a new alliance of Shiites and Kurds, saying Sunni refused to join but the door remained open to them.

Maliki announces new alliance
The Iraqi prime minister and president on Thursday announced a new alliance of Shiites and Kurds, saying Sunni refused to join but the door remained open to them.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the agreement was the first step to unblock political stagnation that has gripped his Shiite-led government since it first took power in May 2006.

The announcement after three days of intense political negotiations in the capital was disappointing because it did not include Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and his Iraqi Islamic Party.

President Jalal Talabani and al-Maliki were flanked by the leader of the northern autonomous Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, and Shiite Vice President Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

The four men signed a three-page agreement, which they said ensures them a majority in the 275-member parliament that would allow movement of U.S.-demanded legislation.

Talabani, a Kurd, said al-Hashemi refused the invitation to join in the new political grouping but "the door is still open to them and they are welcome at any time."

Al-Maliki also called on the Sunni Accordance Front, which includes al-Hashemi's party, to return to the government, to heal a rift that opened when the bloc's five Cabinet minister quit the government.

The four-party agreement was unveiled four weeks before the top U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are to deliver a progress report on Iraq to Congress.

Agencies
Last Mod: 16 Ağustos 2007, 15:18
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