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Ankara talks with State of Law are rare

Aug. 9, 2010 at 4:37 PM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Official contact between members of the State of Law party of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Ankara has been rare, the Turkish government said.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh met during the weekend in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Both sides had extensive talks on finding ways to break the political deadlock in Baghdad.

The foreign minister has met extensively with members of the secular Iraqiya slate and Shiite rivals in the Iraqi National Alliance, though formal talks with State of Law have been rare, Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman reports.

Iraqiya won the March 7 elections for Council of Representatives by two seats in a narrow upset over State of Law. None of the parties took the 163-majority needed to form a government alone and party leaders continue to squabble over candidates for president, speaker of parliament and prime minister.

Many of the key decision-makers in Iraq are opposed to a second term of Maliki. Bahaa al-Aaraji, a lawmaker for the Shiite INA, told the Voices of Iraq news agency that time was running out for Maliki.

"Dawa (Maliki's main political party) should propose another nominee so that negotiations between the (INA and State of Law) to form the new government can be resumed," he said, adding Tuesday was the deadline.

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