Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat – The meeting that was due to be held on Saturday between the head of the Iraqiya List and parliamentary election winner, Iyad Allawi, and head of the State of Law coalition, outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, has been postponed for at least a week.
Mohammed al Allawi, a leading figure from the Iraqiya List confirmed in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting that was scheduled to take place at the residence of former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari has been postponed for a week to ten days without stating the reasons for that.
Other sources from the Iraqiya List attributed the postponement to what they described as hesitation on the part of the State of Law coalition. Moreover, the announcement comes one day after al Maliki stated that the State of Law coalition will keep the premiership. In other words, he will remain in his position as there are no other candidates for the premiership from that coalition.
In a related context, Media Advisor to the Prime Minister Ali al Moussawi said in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat that “certain preoccupations” stand in the way of the meeting being held within the next few days.
Khalid al Asadi, a leading figure within the State of Law coalition, asserted that his coalition does not object to Allawi visiting al Maliki at his residence and explained that setting a date has ceased being a problem for either side. Nevertheless, he told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iraqiya List was still hesitant about participating in the government that is currently being formed by the State of Law Coalition and Iraqi National Alliance. However, he maintained that, “The head of the Iraqiya List is welcome anytime. But in the event of visiting the head of the State of Law Coalition, he must make an announcement confirming his willingness to take part in the next government.”
The Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani called on Iraqi politicians on Friday in Karbala to hold serious talks in order to speed up the formation of the next Iraqi government, saying that Iraqis have expressed frustration at the delay.