Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iraq PM to Visit Iran as Coalition Talks Hot Up - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Massud Barzani (unseen), in the northern city of Arbil on August 08, 2010. (AFP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Massud Barzani (unseen), in the northern city of Arbil on August 08, 2010. (AFP)

BAGHDAD, (AFP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is fighting to keep his job after an inconclusive March 7 general election, is to visit neighbouring Iran soon, a close aide said on Saturday.

“The prime minister will visit Iran soon but I cannot confirm when,” the official from Maliki’s office told AFP.

Iran’s Mehr news agency said Maliki’s visit had been set for Monday and that he would hold high-level “regional and international” talks and “also discuss developments in Iraq.”

The visit comes as Maliki is locked in a protracted battle for the premiership with former prime minister Iyad Allawi.

Maliki’s Shiite-led State of Law bloc finished a narrow second behind Allawi’s Sunni-dominated Iraqiya group but neither came close to securing a parliamentary majority.

Drawn-out coalition talks since the election have seen both sides courting the third-placed Iraqi National Alliance, a coalition of Shiite religious factions.

Moqtada al-Sadr, whose radical movement controls 40 of the INA’s 70 seats, has thrown his support behind Maliki but the incumbent still needs the support of another INA faction, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council of Ammar al-Hakim, which controls 17 seats and is seen as close to Tehran.

Maliki is on a tour of Middle East capitals aimed at winning support for his premiership. He already visited Iran ally Syria on Wednesday and is to visit Jordan on Sunday.

He also plans to visit several Gulf Arab states, where support for his rival has been strong, his close aide said.

Allawi was in Saudi Arabia last Sunday to bolster support from his leading champion which regards Maliki as too close to Iran.

Iraqi tribal chiefs listen on as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki speaks in central Baghdad.

Iraqi tribal chiefs listen on as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki speaks in central Baghdad.

Head of the Iraqiya coalition Iyad Allawi holds a meeting with Ruz Nuri Shawis (unseen), Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister and a senior Kurdish politician in Baghdad July 25, 2010. (Reuters)

Head of the Iraqiya coalition Iyad Allawi holds a meeting with Ruz Nuri Shawis (unseen), Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and a senior Kurdish politician in Baghdad July 25, 2010. (Reuters)

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube