US authorities have invited six Iraqi opposition leaders, including the head of the main Iran-based Shiite Muslim faction, to Washington for August 9 talks on the country's future.
"Six leaders of the Iraqi opposition received a joint invitation from the State Department and the Pentagon for talks on the future of Iraq, scheduled to start on August 9," an Iraqi National Congress (INC) official told AFP on Saturday.
"The invitations were addressed to the six leaders, who are expected to respond positively," the INC official added.
Apart from Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the chiefs of the two rival factions which control mainly Kurdish northern Iraq and leaders of the opposition in exile were also invited, he said.
Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Jalal Talabani, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, will be joined by Ahmad Chalabi and Al-Sharif Ali bin Hussein of the INC, and Ayad Alawi of the Iraqi National Accord.
"Developments on Iraq are speeding up and it is normal that there are more talks with the US administration," the INC official said.
The six leaders are inclined to hold talks with "all parties concerned with the Iraqi file at the heart of the US administration and Congress," another opposition source disclosed. Talks could "last three to four days," he speculated.(Albawaba.com)
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