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Iraqi Leaders Postpone Meeting On Constitution

5 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi leaders have postponed a key meeting aimed at resolving the remaining differences over the country's draft constitution.

A spokesman in President Jalal Talabani's office said the meeting which had been scheduled for today was put off until 7 August so that more people would be able to attend.

Mahmud Othman, a Kurdish member of the parliamentary committee tasked with drafting the constitution said the meeting was put off because of an emergency session tomorrow of the Kurdish autonomous parliament. (See "Kurds Taking Hard-Line Stance On Constitution.")

Iraqi leaders have pledged to have the new constitution ready by 15 August.

News agencies report that outstanding issues remaining to be resolved include federalism, the role of Islam and distribution of the country's oil wealth.

Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari met today in Al-Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric. The new constitution was reportedly among issues they would discuss.