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Aug 20, 2010

Iraq’s rival parties resume govt coalition talks

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and former premier Iyad Allawi have resumed negotiations aimed at forming a government after falling out briefly over a sectarian row, senior politicians said on Friday.

Iraq has drifted in a dangerous political vacuum since a March election produced no outright winner. Attacks by insurgents have raised fears of a return to broader violence as U.S. troops end combat operations this month.

Aug 20, 2010

Iraq’s rival parties resume government coalition talks

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and former premier Iyad Allawi have resumed negotiations aimed at forming a government after falling out briefly over a sectarian row, senior politicians said on Friday.

Iraq has drifted in a dangerous political vacuum since a March election produced no outright winner. Attacks by insurgents have raised fears of a return to broader violence as U.S. troops end combat operations this month.

Aug 17, 2010

Iraq’s Allawi says to intensify talks with Sadrists

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -Former Iraqi premier Iyad Allawi said on Tuesday his Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance would intensify talks with an anti-American Shi’ite movement to try to break a political stalemate.

Iraq has been in a political deadlock since a March 7 election which produced no outright winner, raising tensions ahead of an end to U.S. combat operations this month and fuelling concerns of a return to widespread violence.

Aug 17, 2010

Suicide bomber targets Iraqi army recruits, kills 39

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least 39 recruits and soldiers were killed and 57 wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside an army recruitment center in the Iraqi capital, authorities said.

The Baghdad operations command said in a statement 39 people had been killed. One police source said the death toll could be as high as 48, with 123 wounded.

Aug 16, 2010

Rivals stop coalition talks in Iraq in sectarian row

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance of former Iraqi premier Iyad Allawi on Monday formally broke off coalition talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, likely delaying even further the formation of a government.

Chances of a deal between Iraqiya and Maliki’s Shi’ite-led State of Law following the inconclusive March 7 vote were always remote, and the move was not all that surprising, analysts said.

Aug 16, 2010

Opposing factions break off coalition talks in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance of former Iraqi premier Iyad Allawi on Monday formally broke off coalition talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, likely prolonging even further the formation of a government.

Five months of talks between Iraqiya and Maliki’s Shi’ite-led State of Law alliance since the inconclusive March 7 vote had always been tentative and it was not clear how significant the decision by Allawi’s alliance might prove to be.

Aug 3, 2010

Iraqis fear renewed violence as U.S. disengages

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – President Barack Obama says Washington will fulfill its pledge to halt combat operations in Iraq by the end of this month, but many Iraqis fear that U.S. disengagement could portend surge in violence.

Violence has plunged since the peak of the conflict in 2006-07, but bombings and other attacks occur still daily and Iraqi officials say the civilian death toll rose last month.

Aug 2, 2010

Maliki says impasse over Iraqi govt not his fault

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday his desire to serve a second term as prime minister was not holding up the formation of a new government and asked Iraqis to have patience.

In an interview aired on state television, Maliki said he would step aside if his partners came up with another candidate they could agree on, but so far they had not.

Jul 12, 2010

Still in deadlock, Iraq parliament delays session

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi politicians on Monday postponed for two weeks a session of parliament that should have picked the country’s new president after failing to make any headway in talks on a coalition government, lawmakers said.

The delay in holding the session, due to be held on Tuesday, was due to political deadlock more than four months after a March 7 election and means that parliament has failed to meet a constitutional deadline and entered unconstitutional territory.

Jul 9, 2010

Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric pushes for govt formation

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who publicly steers clear of politics, may step in with “help and advice” if politicians fail to form a government quickly, his representative said on Friday.

Iraq is still without a government more than four months after an inconclusive March parliamentary election seen as a key step toward cementing a fragile democracy more than seven years after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.