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Mini-Summit In Irbil Calls For Solution To Iraqi Political Crisis

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (left),Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr (center), and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani (right) at a crisis summit in Irbil on April 27.
Leaders from nearly all of Iraq's top political blocs have called for a solution to the nation's political crisis that pits the Shi'ite-led government against Sunnis and Kurds.

The call came in a joint statement issued after three days of meetings in Irbil, the capital of northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

The mini-summit brought together senior Sunni and Kurdish politicians, along with Shi'ites who are disgruntled by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government.

The talks were hosted by the Kurdish region's President Massoud Barzani.

The gathering included Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, along with former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and hard-line cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, both Shi'ites.

Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, also took part.

The group stopped short of demanding that Maliki step down from power.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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