Jalal Talabani (file photo) (RFE/RL)
April 30, 2006 -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said today he is optimistic about securing a deal with several insurgent groups to end their campaign of violence.
Talabani issued a statement saying he recently met with representatives from seven militant groups, whom he did not identify. Talabani said U.S. officials were present at the meeting. He said a deal to include the insurgent groups in the political process could be struck.
Meanwhile, Iraq's speaker of parliament today said the legislature will convene on May 3. Prime Minister-designate Nuri Kamil al-Maliki is not expected to present his cabinet line-up at that meeting.