Iraq PM meets Kurdish leader for reconciliation

Iraq PM meets Kurdish leader for reconciliation

Iraq PM meets Kurdish leader for reconciliation

Iraqi PM al-Maliki (R) meets KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani. Baghdad has often clashed with Kurdish northern Iraq over the sharing of oil revenues. AA photo

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met yesterday with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) prime minister in Baghdad for reconciliation talks as violence continued across the country with five car bombs killing 26 in Shiite areas.

Al-Maliki and Nechirvan Barzani held talks over disputed areas, the military deployment of both sides to these areas, oil contracts the KRG has signed without Baghdad’s approval and Kurdish peshmarga deployment in Kirkuk.

The meeting came as five car bombs exploded in Shiite areas of central and southern Iraq.

The blasts, which killed 26 and injured dozens more, come amid a week-long spike in sectarian violence following clashes at a Sunni protest camp in the north of the country.

Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi called yesterday for the Cabinet to resign and for early elections to be held, as a seven-day wave of violence killed more than 230 people in Iraq. The initiative is aimed at “national reconciliation and maintaining the gains of democracy,” as well as “sparing the country from the specter of civil war and sectarian strife,” al-Nujaifi’s office said in a statement.

Al-Nujaifi, a Sunni and leading member of the secular, Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc which has long been at odds with the Shiite al-Maliki, addressed the proposal to the heads of political parties represented in Parliament. He called for the current government to resign and be replaced by a smaller one made up of independent members who cannot stand in the next elections, for the electoral commission to prepare for early polls and for Parliament to then be dissolved.

So far this month, more than 450 people have been killed and over 1,150 wounded in violence across Iraq, according to figures.

Compiled from AA and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.