Iraq PM hopes for deal on new government

Photo: Iraq PM hopes for deal on new government
 / Arab World

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday that he hoped to overcome the challenges blocking the formation of a new government, a day after the new parliament's first session ended without agreement on top government posts, Reuters reported.

"A state of weakness occurred but God willing in the next session (planned for next Tuesday) we will overcome it with cooperation and agreement and openness ... in choosing the individuals and the mechanisms that will result in a political process based on ... democratic mechanisms," said Maliki in his weekly televised address.

Sunnis and Kurds abandoned the first meeting of the new parliament after Shiites failed to nominate a candidate for prime minister. The Shiite parties are deadlocked over Maliki's ambitions for a third term, and who would replace him.

The new parliament adjourned Tuesday, with plans to meet one week later, if an agreement on posts was reached.

Maliki also offered an amnesty to tribes who fought the government, but excluded those who had "killed and shed blood."

The United States, United Nations, Iran and Iraq's own Shiite religious authority have pushed hard for politicians to come up with an inclusive government to save the country after Sunni insurgents seized large stretches of territory north and west of Baghdad.

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