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Former Iraqi PM Rejects Government Job

Iyad Allawi speaks to the press in Najaf.
Iraq's former prime minister says he has turned down a position in the country's new government.

Speaking today at a press conference in the city of Najaf, Iyad Allawi said: "It is not a walkout. I simply turned down the position" of head of the new national security council.

Allawi's political coalition, Al-Iraqiyah, is supported by Iraq's minority Sunnis.

AP reported that his decision could leave Sunnis further marginalized in the new government.

Before today's announcement, Allawi had wavered on whether he would take the position as head of the National Council for Strategic Policies, as politicians argued over how much power the body would have.

compiled from agency reports