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Work On Iraqi Constitution Continues

President Talabani (file photo) 8 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is expected to continue efforts today to resolve disputes over developing the country's new constitution -- one week before it is due for parliamentary approval.

Talabani said at the end of talks on 7 August that negotiations will continue today. He said the talks are not easy, but has expressed confidence that Iraqi leaders will meet the 15 August deadline.

Key issues include autonomy for federal regions -- broadly opposed by Sunni Arabs but a central demand of the Kurds -- and the scope of Islamic law, which is favored by some religious Shiites.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said there can be no compromise on the principle of equal rights for women and religious and ethnic minorities.

In the latest violence, at least 35 Iraqi civilians and soldiers were killed on 7 August.