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Allawi says May Exit Iraq Power-Sharing Talks: Report - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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LONDON (Reuters) – The leader of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc could leave power-sharing talks on forming Iraq’s next government and lead the opposition, he was quoted as telling a British newspaper Wednesday.

In an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Iyad Allawi said he does not believe a deal to form a national unity government with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other rivals can work.

Iraq has been without a new government since a March 7 election failed to produce a clear winner, leaving Shi’ite Muslim, Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians jockeying for power.

“I have come to accept that opposition is a real option for us,” said Allawi, whose cross-sectarian bloc won the most votes in Iraq’s general election but did not win an outright majority in parliament.

“We are in the final days of making a final decision on this issue,” the former prime minister said.

The lack of a government has sparked concerns of a rise in violence just as the sectarian strife triggered after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion recedes and U.S. forces scale back their presence ahead of a full withdrawal next year.

A series of bombs rocked mainly Shi’ite areas of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens two days after al Qaeda militants staged a bloodbath when they took hostages in a Christian church.

“We are not ready to be a false witness to history by signing up to something that we don’t believe can work,” Allawi said, in reference to a mooted plan to give him executive powers equal to those of the prime minister, according to the paper.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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