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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid