Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki is slated to present his new government to parliament, even though no agreement has been reached on who will head the key interior and defense ministries.
Officials say Mr. al-Maliki will swear in the cabinet following approval by the 275-member parliament. The ceremony is to take place Saturday in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.
News reports indicate Mr. al-Maliki may serve as acting minister for one or both of the posts until an agreement can be reached among Iraq's main political groups on who to head the key ministries.
Meanwhile, the fate of a kidnapped United Arab Emirates diplomat remains unknown. Media reports had indicated Naji al-Nuami had been released, but his family said Friday they could not confirm whether he had been released.
Also, the second-ranking U.S. general in Iraq said the key to reducing violence in the war-torn country would be for the new government to create jobs and revive the economy.
Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli said reviving the Iraqi economy will, in his words, "take the angry young men off the street."
In the latest violence in Iraq, authorities in Baghdad said they found the bullet-riddled bodies of two Iraqis who apparently had been kidnapped by insurgents.
In a separate attack, gunmen opened fire on a minibus near the capital, wounding at least 10 people.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.