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Iraqi PM Meets With Main Election Rival

A composite file picture shows Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (left) and Ayad Allawi, leader of the Al-Iraqiya bloc
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has met with his main election rival in an attempt to resolve the country's political deadlock.

Al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi are competing to be the next prime minister after the inconclusive March 7 elections.

Member of parliament Hassan Sneid said both "expressed their wish to speed up the formation of a government before July 14," the deadline for parliament to hold its first session.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill told reporters that the bargaining remained at a "preliminary stage" but that he was encouraged all sides were still talking to each other constructively.

compiled from agency reports