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Former Iraqi PM Expects New Government in August

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi says the country's political leaders are hoping to form a new government in August.

Mr. Allawi says negotiations between political groups are in the final stages. He says they want to end Iraq's four-month-old political stalemate as soon as possible.

Mr. Allawi commented Friday from Lebanon, following a meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Mr. Allawi emerged as a top contender from Iraq's March 7 parliamentary elections.

No political group won enough seats to form a majority. However, Mr. Allawi's Sunni-backed Iraqiya coalition won the most seats -- two more than the State of Law alliance led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

After the election, Mr. Maliki's group teamed up with the third-place Iraqi National Alliance.

Mr. Allawi and Mr. Maliki traveled to Lebanon this week to pay respects to the country's former top Shiite cleric. Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah died Sunday following an illness.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.