Wednesday, April 19, 2006
AP: Iraqis cave to US pressure to convene Parliament
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer -- Wednesday, 1 hour, 58 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Under U.S. pressure, Iraqi leaders decided Wednesday to convene parliament in a bid to jump-start formation of a new unity government, stalled for months over the choice of a prime minister.
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, left, insisted Wednesday that he still enjoyed the support of the Shiite alliance, the dominant bloc in parliament, and would not step aside.
But Shiite officials raised doubts whether the session already postponed once this week would take place Thursday as planned. They said the seven-faction Shiite alliance would meet Thursday morning and decide whether to attend the afternoon session.
The Bush administration is anxious to get a broad-based government seated, hoping it will help undermine support for the insurgency as well as calm sectarian strife that has bloodiedin recent months.
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