Iraq PM: Sunni-backed bloc must be in govt

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister has conceded the Sunni-backed political coalition headed by his archrival must be included in the country's new government.

The comments by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki appear to offer an olive branch to former Premier Ayad Allawi, whose secular bloc won the most seats in the March 7 parliamentary election.

Al-Maliki tells the U.S.-funded Alhurra TV station in an interview aired Friday that Allawi's Iraqiya list had the most Sunni support and so must “be partners in forming the government.”

The concession is also an acknowledgment that Al-Maliki cannot sideline Sunnis who gave Iraqiya enough support to win 91 seats to his 89.

Al-Maliki has been negotiating with other Shiites to combine forces against Allawi.

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