By ASSOCIATED PRESSPublished: OCTOBER 30, 2010 21:51
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Saturday invited the leaders of Iraq's political blocs for talks in Riyadh aimed at breaking the deadlock over the formation of a new government.A Sunni-backed political coalition narrowly edged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated bloc in Iraq's March elections. But no single bloc won enough seats to control parliament or pick new leaders, touching off a seven-month scramble for allies that has all but ground Iraq's government to a standstill.In a statement, King Abdullah said Iraq is at "a crossroads" and appealed to the country's political rivals to unite and "put down the fire of ugly sectarianism." He did not provide a specific date for the Riyadh meeting, but suggested that it could take place after the hajj in November.A spokeswoman for the winning Iraqiya list, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, welcomed the Saudi monarch's initiative.
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