Talks on government still ongoing in Iraq

Other News Materials 13 April 2008 16:56 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The head of a Sunni-led political party said Sunday that talks on reshaping the Iraqi government were progressing, but no agreements had been reached.

Saleh al-Motlaq, head of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the talks were continuing, but most political parties and parliamentary blocks felt that the government was only pursuing its own interests.

"We need a strong government that works on providing security and stability in the country," Al-Motlaq said.

He added: "I support all perspectives that request the re- establishment of a new government in Iraq, instead of filling ministerial gaps in the current cabinet."

Al-Motlaq said that there has been fatal errors and corruption in governmental bodies.

Earlier, Iraqi President Jalal al-Talabani had met with heads of the parliamentary blocks and the vice-president to discuss the possibility of including ministers from the Iraqi Accord Front, the country's largest Sunni bloc, in the new cabinet.

On March 9, al-Talabani said that negotiations on restructuring the Iraqi government were moving ahead and expressed hope that there would be a new cabinet within a week.

He said in a press conference: "I hope that ministers of the Iraqi Accord Front would return quickly to the cabinet because the three focal points of a united government are the Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and the Kurds."

Iraq's premier had also promised to reshape the cabinet when the Iraqi Accord Front and the Shiite Sadr bloc withdrew in July.

The shaky coalition cabinet was shattered by the withdrawal of ministers from smaller blocs, which left it with 15 empty ministerial seats, most of them from the Accord Front and Sadr bloc.