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Politicians: Iraq's Parliament to Convene, Start Forming Government Within Days


Iraqi politicians say Shi'ite and Kurdish negotiators have finalized the make up of a coalition government and that parliament is likely to convene later this week to elect a speaker.

The politicians say Shi'ites are likely to take 16 to 17 ministries in the new government, with the Kurds getting eight ministries, including oil and foreign affairs.

They say Iraq's Sunni minority, who largely boycotted the January 30 parliamentary election, will probably get four to six ministries.

The Shi'ite and Kurdish political blocs, who between them have the two-thirds majority in the 275-member interim assembly, have been negotiating on forming a government for weeks.

In another development, Jordan's King Abdullah has ordered his ambassador to return to Iraq, in a move to resolve a diplomatic dispute.

The dispute flared after Iraqis protesting the reported involvement of a Jordanian national in a suicide bombing last month raised the Iraqi flag over Jordan's embassy in Baghdad. And on Sunday, Jordan and Iraq both recalled their top envoys.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

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