The leaders of two rival political blocs battling to run Iraq's new government met on Saturday for the first time since March elections. The 90-minute meeting between
The meeting of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former Premier Ayad Allawi was described by aides as more of an icebreaker than the start of serious negotiations. "This meeting opens the door for another meeting between the two sides and that meeting will further close the distance between them," said State of law official Ali al-Dabbagh, who is also the spokesman of Maliki's outgoing government.
"It's not fair for people to expect that one meeting will solve all problems," he said according to Reuters, adding that all sides agreed it was important for Allawi's Iraqiya to be included in the next government in some way.
Allawi's Iraqiya "might have no postelection role," Hassan al-Alawi, a senior Iraqiya leader, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "They are walking a dangerous route." He added: "Allawi will never be the PM."