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Iraqi PM announces new coalition
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Thursday Aug 16th, 2007 7:59 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2007 : The alliance of Shias and Kurds does not include Sunni representation.

Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, has announced a fresh alliance of moderate Shias and Kurds, saying Sunni moderates have refused to join. He says the door remains open to them and that the agreement was the first step to unblocking political stagnation that has gripped his Shia-led government since it first took power in May 2006.

The announcement came after three days of political negotiations in Baghdad and does not include Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq's Sunni vice-president, and his Iraqi Islamic party.

Sunni invitation

Jalal Talabani, Iraq's president, and al-Maliki were flanked by Massoud Barzani, the leader of the northern autonomous Kurdish region and Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the Shia vice-president as the announcement was made.

The four men signed a three-page agreement that they said would ensure them a majority in the 275-member parliament and allow the passing of critical US-demanded legislation.

Hoda Abdel-Hamid, Al Jazeera's Iraq correspondent, said: "The new alliance gives them the ability to continue passing legislation. However without Sunni representation ... it could increase sectarian violence."

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by IOL (reposted)
Friday Aug 17th, 2007 7:29 AM
BAGHDAD — Iraq's biggest Shiite and Kurdish parties announced on Thursday, August 16, a new political alliance, dismissed by Sunni Arabs as an attempt to give life support to a crumbling government.

"Signing this agreement will help solve many problems in the present crisis and encourage the others to join us," President Jalal Talabani told a new conference flanked by Premier Nuri al-Maliki, reported Agence France Presse (AFP).

The new alliance brings together Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Massud Barzani's Kurdish Democratic Party (PDK), Maliki's Dawa Party and Vice President Adel Abdel Mehdi's Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC).

The agreement crowned a three-day crisis summit called by embattled Maliki to shore up his crumbling government.

"This agreement came to shake the paralysis in the political process," said the prime minister.

The three-page document did not mention details of how the alliance would help the government.

Maliki's Shiite-led government has been gripped in political stagnation since its formation in May 2006.