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U.S. welcomes Iraqi government talks

Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:41 AM
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Talks in Baghdad among the major political blocs initiated by Kurdish authorities could be the sign of a major breakthrough, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq said.

Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, invited all of the main political figures together to discuss ways to end the 235-day impasse in the country.

Iraq had parliamentary elections March 7. Though the secular Iraqiya slate won by two seats, none of the parties secured the 163-seat majority needed to form a government alone.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, in a statement Thursday, praised the Kurdish-initiated talks as a sign the major players were moving closer to an agreement on an inclusive government.

"These talks in Baghdad, which were attended by representatives from all the major blocs, could represent an important step towards the formation of an Iraqi government," an embassy statement read.

The statement added that Washington has no official preference in the matter but hopes Iraqi leaders work "expeditiously" on a government that is inclusive and represents the will of the Iraqi people.

The Kurdish government in August laid out a series of 19 points for consideration by whatever government emerges from the political stalemate. They include things such as territorial claims, a national census and provisions on oil and natural gas.

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