Maliki offers Egypt Iraqi business for political support

CAIRO — Iraq's prime minister said Wednesday he will ask regional states to play a role in a wide-scale effort to rebuild his country if he secures a second term in office.
Nouri al-Maliki told reporters after meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak that he invited Egyptian companies to work in Iraq and mentioned several possible joint endeavors.
Al-Maliki's trip to the Sunni Arab heavyweight and his remarks reflect his attempts to gain regional support for his bid to stay in power by offering lucrative business opportunities in Iraq.
Since Iraq's inconclusive parliamentary elections on March 7, al-Maliki's mostly Shiite political alliance has been seeking enough allies to give it the right to control the 325-seat parliament
and pick Iraq's new leaders.
Egypt and other Sunni states have supported al-Maliki's rival, a Sunni-backed group headed by secular Shiite Ayad Allawi.
Both al-Maliki and Allawi have spent time making their cases to regional powers. Al-Maliki's current tour also took him to Syria, Jordan and Iran.
Al-Maliki said after his talks with Mubarak that the two discussed the future of Iraq's government but gave no details. He also emphasized the role he hopes other Mideast countries will play in Iraq if he keeps his post.
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