President Jalal Talabani presided over the latest meeting of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s critics, but refused to call a "no confidence" vote in parliament for them. He said he wanted the various groups — which include the Kurds, the Sadrists and the Sunni-supported Iraqiya bloc — to work with pro-Maliki groups to end the quarreling. Iran is said to be exerting influence on the president to avoid the no confidence vote. Some pro-Maliki figures admit that the prime minister is amassing too much power, but say he is the best option.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Maliki held court at a Council of Ministers conference in Mosul. Over 100 political and tribal leaders were expected at the meeting, which was the third one of the year. More such gatherings are in the planning stages.
Because of dust storms, violence may be light until they pass.
A blast in Ramadi killed one civilian and wounded two others.
Several people were wounded in a blast near a police station in Najaf.