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Iraq's Main Blocs Urged To Hold Talks To Resolve Problems


BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi political party has called on the country's main blocs to meet urgently to discuss Iraq's long-standing political crisis, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.
Leading Iraqi National Dialogue Front member Hamid al-Mutlaq told RFI on September 1 that this meeting should not only discuss the crisis -- which has left the country's Interior, Defense, and National Security ministries under the prime minister's control -- but should also make sure that decisions are correctly and completely implemented, "unlike the previous decisions."
"These days of [Muslim holiday of] Eid al-Fitr are blessed," al-Mutlaq said. "Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the head of Al-Iraqiyah, Ayad Allawi, should use the occasion to try to conclude an agreement that creates a balance between the blocs and fills the vacant security ministries at the same time."
Al-Iraqiyah and Maliki's State of Law coalition finished with a nearly equal amount of votes in the March 2010 parliamentary elections and have been unable to implement a coalition agreement that would complete the government and establish a strategic-policy council to be headed by Allawi.
Al-Mutlaq insisted that Iraqis are fed up with the political bickering among the two main parties that are creating problems in their daily lives.
Saad al-Mutalibi, a senior member of Maliki's State of Law bloc, said any call for dialogue between different political blocs are welcomed and highly appreciated. "Only through dialogue we will be able to solve our problems and get over our differences," he said.
"Those of us in the State of Law are ready to take part in any meeting aiming to resolve the differences," al-Mutalibi added.
But he noted that he thinks the problems between Maliki and Allawi are not personal but rather political, which makes them difficult to overcome.
Many political analysts see no easy way out of the political crisis, noting that even the November 2010 Irbil Agreement -- which allowed for the formation of the government eight months after the indecisive parliamentary elections -- did not succeed in settling the most contentious issues between the Maliki and Allawi blocs.
"Iraq would need a miracle to get out of this impasse," analyst Amir al-Saadi told RFI, noting that any new discussions should start by asking: "Which bloc is responsible for this chaotic situation and whether all of the blocs are part of the problem and none of them innocent?"
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