A prominent candidate in the race to lead Iraq's new government has talks in Syria amid growing frustration over the political crisis. Former Prime Minister Eyad Allawi narrowly defeated Prime Minister Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's list in the March elections.
Allawi told AP early Wednesday that his coalition will not be part of any government presided over by al-Maliki.
Also in Syria this week is Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who also heads a political group that has opposed keeping al-Maliki in power. However, some sources claim that al-Sadr has bowed to Iranian pressures to back al-Maliki.