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Rice, Cheney Push for End to Iraqi Political Stalemate


A published report says the Bush administration is pressing Iraqi leaders to end their political stalemate and form a new government.

The New York Times newspaper says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Iraq's President Jalal Talabani on Friday to urge that the government be formed as soon as possible.

It says Ms. Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney conveyed the same message in a White House meeting with Adil Abdul Mahdi, a leading Shi'ite politician named as one of the new Iraqi vice presidents.

U.S. officials have said repeatedly that Iraqis must form their own government without American intervention.

But efforts to name a new cabinet in Baghdad have failed, although nearly three months have passed since the Iraqi elections. Many Iraqis blame the political turmoil for a recent upsurge in violence.