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Iraq Awaits Sunnis' Response on Draft Constitution


Iraq's head of Parliament says Shi'ite Muslims and Kurds have agreed on a revised draft constitution after considering Sunni concerns, and are awaiting a response from leaders of the nation's Sunni Muslims.

Speaker Hajim al-Hassani said Saturday, a final amended proposal has been given to the Sunnis for their review, and is now ready to be presented to Parliament Sunday for approval.

Sunni leaders have shown no indication they will accept a charter that calls for plans for federalism, which would allow portions of Iraq to govern themselves. Instead of such autonomy, the Sunnis are demanding a strong central government.

President Bush recently spoke by telephone with a Shi'ite leader Abdul Aziz Hakim, and urged flexibility with regard to the Sunnis' demands.

Once agreement is reached on a final text of the constitution, Iraqis will be asked to approve it in a national referendum, currently scheduled for October 15.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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