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Iraqi Parliament To Convene This Week

Adnan Pachachi, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament (file photo) (AFP) April 9, 2006 -- Iraq's acting speaker of parliament says he will call on the assembly to convene this week.

Adnan Pachachi told a news conference on April 9 that this step would make it possible to begin forming a government of national unity. His announcement is the first public sign of a possible step forward by Shi'ite, Kurdish, and Sunni leaders, who are struggling to form a government.

Shi'ite politicians met on April 9 to discuss opposition to incumbent Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari, whom Shi'ite parties have put forward as their candidate to lead the new government. They formed a three-member committee to discuss the deadlock with Sunni and Kurdish parties.

Sunnis and Kurds oppose al-Ja'fari because they believe his government is responsible for the rise in sectarian violence.

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, on April 9 urged the world to be patient, saying the Iraqi people must get a good government, not just a government.

(compiled from agency reports)

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