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October 28, 2009

Iraq Constitution Talks Continue Amid Protests

 

Iraqi negotiators are struggling to reach an agreement on a new constitution before a Monday deadline, as hundreds marched to press their demands for a new government.

Officials said Saturday they were nearing agreement on a Shi'ite demand to enshrine Islam as the only source of legislation. Kurdish officials said they still oppose the move.

But negotiators say the United States may be prepared to drop its objections to having Islam as the sole basis of a new Iraqi government.

Saturday's talks also focused on granting self-determination to Iraqi Kurds.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Sunni Arabs in Ramadi and Kirkuk marched against the possibility of a federal Iraq, saying they want a strong central government.

If completed by Monday, the new constitution will be voted on in an October referendum.