News / USA

Iraqi Power-Sharing Talks Stall with Key Leaders Absent

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates

Iraq's political leaders met for the second straight day Tuesday in an effort to end a months-long political deadlock, but key figures stayed away from the all-party talks meant to produce a power-sharing deal ahead of a looming court-mandated parliamentary session.

Former prime minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shi'ite whose Sunni-backed Iraqiya coalition narrowly won the March 7 elections, did not attend Tuesday's gathering in Baghdad. A spokesman said he was ill. Iraqiya's senior Sunni member, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, was also a no-show although delegates were sent to represent the coalition.

Iraqiya members denied Mr. Allawi's absence was a snub. Some hinted they would push for Thursday's parliament meeting to be delayed in order to address the wide disagreements on a power-sharing deal that still exist between them and Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's National Alliance.

Mr. Allawi's coalition has been offered the post of parliamentary speaker in a Maliki-led government and also the leadership of a new National Council for Strategic Policies.

But the Iraqiya bloc has rejected the offer and is instead fighting to limit the power of Mr. Maliki, a Shi'ite now partnered with anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in an Iranian-backed coalition.  Iraqi officials say they are trying to persuade Iraqiya to accept the parliament speaker's post, or to talk the Kurds - a key partner in any new government - into giving up the presidency.

Top U.S. political leaders have also asked Kurdish officials to drop their claim to the presidency in favor of Mr. Allawi as a way to keep him in the government, but without success.

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. is willing to keep troops in Iraq past the current deadline, but only if that is what Iraq's leaders want. Gates made the comment to reporters in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday after a meeting with Malaysia's defense minister. The current agreement calls for U.S. troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.  

A rising wave of violence has prompted U.S. and Iraqi officials to express a willingness to revisit the deal. But Gates said any request would have to come from a functioning Iraqi government.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid