| GEO World|
Iraq opposition ends government talks
| Updated at: 0755 PST, Wednesday, August 18, 2010|
BAGHDAD: Efforts to create a new Iraqi government suffered a fresh setback on Monday when the opposition alliance that gained most seats in the election formally ended talks with allies of Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister.
Iraqiya, led by Iyad Allawi, a former prime minister, said the decision was made after Mr Maliki described the alliance as “Sunni”. Iraqiya claims to be a non-sectarian force with national backing.
The move will frustrate US officials who regard an alliance between Iraqiya and Mr Maliki’s State of Law coalition as the most feasible resolution of a political impasse that has persisted for over five months.
It is also likely to exasperate ordinary Iraqis, who have been angered by their politicians’ failure to compromise and form a new government.
Maysoon al-Damluji, a spokeswoman for Iraqiya, said that talks would only resume if Mr Maliki apologised for his comments. “They put every excuse to block Iraqiya from forming the government,” she said. “We refuse to have negotiations on a sectarian concept.”
There are mounting fears that the political crisis may lead to greater instability and violence in the fragile nation.