Al-Maliki, US military chief discussed Iraq politics, US withdrawal
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen have discussed the political stalemate in Iraq ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of US forces next month, the government said in a statement Wednesday.
Al-Maliki told Mullen during a meeting late Tuesday that "regional interference" was preventing the formation of a new government, according to the statement released by al-Maliki's office, DPA reported.
More than four months after Iraqis went to the polls, political parties - non of which won an outright majority - have yet to agree on a ruling coalition and the appointment of a new president, prime minister and speaker of parliament.
Parliament was meant to have convened on Tuesday for a second session since the March 7 election, but members of various parties failed to show up. Without the necessary quorum, the house could not meet and the session was postponed.
The US is scheduled to reduce its military presence in Iraq to 50,000 non-combat troops by the end of August. The deadline looms amid concerns over the security in Iraq.
Mullen, who is chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Baghdad as part of a 10-day visit to various countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan India and South Korea.