Iraq's largest Sunni Arab bloc said Wednesday it has suspended its membership in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition government, dealing a new setback to the Shiite leader's efforts to achieve national reconciliation.
The Iraqi Accordance Front, which has six Cabinet members as well as 44 of parliament's 275 seats, said it was giving al-Maliki a week to meet their demands or it would quit his 14-month-old Cabinet altogether.
"The Accordance Front announces the suspension of its membership in the government," Sheik Khalaf al-Elyan said at a news conference attended by the two other leaders of the three-party Accordance Front _ Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi of the Iraqi Islamic Party and Adnan al-Dulaimi of the Congress of the People of Iraq. Al-Elyan leads the National Dialogue Council.
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