Damascus: Allawi, Sadr discuss formation of new Iraqi government
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and the Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr met on Monday in the Syrian capital Damascus in an effort to overcome the obstacles which hinder the formation of a new government. Allawi also met Syrian president Bashar al Assad. Syria's official news agency SANA said: "The meeting focused on efforts to form a government .. President Assad reiterated Syria's support for any agreement between the Iraqis which will be the basis of preserving Iraq's unity and Arab identity and sovereignty."
Meanwhile, Turkish sources said the country's Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu left Monday Ankara to Damascus where he will discuss several issues including the Iraqi issue with President Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem.
Iraq has been without a government since parliamentary elections were held on March 7 .
On his part, al-Sadr expressed "the appreciation of the Iraqis to Syria that has embraced the positions of Iraqis since the beginning of the U.S. invasion to Iraq and continues to stand along with all the Iraqi people and seeks to achieve security and stability of Iraq." The Shiite cleric is close to Iran and a resident of Iran, and his last visit to Damascus took place a year ago.
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