Obama lauds 'inclusive' Iraq govt amid frictions

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 12, 2010 18:25

 
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BAGHDAD — US President Barack Obama praised Iraqi moves to form an "inclusive" government on Friday, but the two-day-old deal was already looking fragile after Sunni lawmakers walked out of parliament, clouding the possibilities for working with Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Members of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc have accused al-Maliki's Shi'ite coalition of breaking promises under the deal, which aimed to overcome an eight-month deadlock and allow the creation of a new Iraqi government.

Jaber al-Jaberi, an Iraqiya lawmaker from the Sunni stronghold of Ramadi, said members of the bloc were meeting to decide whether to boycott the next session of parliament, which was scheduled for Saturday.

They were seeking assurances that al-Maliki's loyalists will vote to reverse a ban on three Iraqiya lawmakers prevented from taking up government posts for alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's banned Baathist party.

Iraqiya has accused the Shi'ite alliance of violating an agreement to abolish the controversial de-Baathification law. A refusal to bring the issue up for a vote during Thursday's parliament session prompted most members of the Sunni-backed bloc to walk out, dampening the optimism about a power-sharing deal reached the day before.

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