Iraqi FM: US, Britain must push to resolve impasse

BAGHDAD — Iraq's foreign minister chided the US and Britain for not taking an active role in resolving his country's bitter election dispute Saturday, accusing Washington of being more concerned with sending home its soldiers than with the stability of the country it had invaded.
In an interview published Saturday in a London-based Arabic language newspaper, Hoshyar Zebari also warned of a political vacuum in the country still struggling to seat a government almost two months after the March 7 election as American troops prepare to leave.
Zebari complained that the US and Britain have stood on the sidelines of the current dispute, and appeared to urge them to be more aggressive in pushing Iraq's rival political blocs toward a compromise.
"Their role is absent in this election, and this has made matters more difficult," Zebari said in comments in the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He noted that after Iraq's 2005 elections, both nations had played a key role in cajoling Iraqi politicians into forming a government.