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Iraqiya says its ready to talk

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meets with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (unseen) in the Presidential Palace in Tehran, Iran on Oct.18, 2010. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meets with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (unseen) in the Presidential Palace in Tehran, Iran on Oct.18, 2010. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

BAGHDAD, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The secular Iraqiya slate is ready to negotiate with its rival parties in Iraq in an effort to form a new government, a spokeswoman for the group announced.

Iraqiya won a two-seat victory in March elections in Iraq, though it fell well short of the majority needed to form a new government alone.

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Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose State of Law party finished second, gained key political support from Tehran and his former rival turned political powerhouse Moqtada Sadr, the anti-American cleric who was the target of U.S. forces in the early stages of the Iraq war.

Rival political parties are at odds over who should serve as the country's next prime minister, president and speaker of parliament. Officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq issued a 19-point list of issues they feel need to be addressed by the next central government.

Maysoon al-Damluji, the spokeswoman for Iraqiya, said her party was ready to negotiate with its rivals "out of concern for public interest." She added the negotiations should move ahead with a "perspective that endorses a true and complete national partnership" in the next government.

The party maintains that it has the right to try to form a new government first according to Iraqi law.

An Iraqi court in late October ordered lawmakers to get to work. Baghdad on Monday reached 239 days without a new government.

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