Several of Iraq’s top politicians met today in Arbil to discuss the political impasse that threatens to destroy Iraq’s coalition government. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Iraqiya-bloc leader Ayad Allawi, and parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi joined Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, who were already in talks. This meeting was held in Talabani’s offices in the Kurdish capital. Noticeably absent was summit focus Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has been called a dictator by some of those gathered.
In a statement, the group formally demanded that mechanisms be put into place that would end the impasse and strengthen democratic reforms. Sadr further insisted the government honor the power-sharing agreement that Maliki had accepted in order to remain premier for a second term. Maliki’s State of Law party fell short of winning 2010 elections, but months of political wrangling, with several of the politicians at this meeting, resulted in the Arbil Agreement. Some of the most important points of that agreement have been completely ignored by the administration.
More meetings are expected. Meanwhile, at least 11 Iraqis were killed and 10 more were wounded.
In Baghdad, a bombing left two dead and four wounded in the Mansour district.
Gunmen shot at a car in Shirqat, killing one civilian and one policeman; another policeman was wounded.
In Saidiya, two separate bombings left two Kurds dead.
A roadside bombing killed a man and his son in Baaj.
Gunmen in Khalis shot dead a civilian.
A policeman was gunned down in Hadid.
A man was killed in Samarra when a bomb attached to his car exploded.
Three civilians were wounded in a grenade attack in Garma.
A sticky bomb planted on a bus in Baquba wounded two civilians when it exploded.
No casualties were reported in Mussayab after a bomb blast.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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