Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met a senior American diplomat on Wednesday to discuss the country's ongoing political deadlock, which has seen no new government formed since March elections, his office said. Maliki met visiting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns.
"The prime minister expressed the hope that in the coming days, there would be openness in the ongoing negotiations between the political blocs to form a government of national partnership," Maliki's office said in a statement.
Also Wednesday Iraq's Kurdish lawmakers were reportedly close to allying themselves with al-Maliki, the leader of the Kurdish negotiating team tpld Reuters. Deputy Prime Minister Ross Nouri Shawis said the Kurds have met twice with the incumbent and have verbal agreements on many of their demands.