Monday, April 16, 2007

Sadr's Bloc To Quit Government

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

Iraqi cleric Muqtada Al Sadr has decided to make his political officials, associated with his movement, withdraw from parliament. The move comes in response to Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's opposition to drawing up a timetable for U.S withdrawal from the country.
Officials from the movement, which holds six ministries and a quarter of the parliamentary seats in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite Alliance, said the formal announcement would be made on Monday at a news conference.

The move is unlikely to bring down the government, but it could create tensions in Maliki's fractious Shi'ite-led government of national unity at a time when it is trying to heal sectarian divisions that threaten to tip Iraq into civil war.

"We are going to declare our withdrawal from government because the prime minister does not want to make a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq," said one official in Sadr's movement who declined to be identified. There was no immediate comment from the government.

Maliki says he sees no need to set a timetable. He said last week his government was working to build up Iraq's security forces as quickly as possible so U.S.-led forces could leave.

The Democrats proposing a U.S military withdrawal in favor of a 'political solution' need to start sharing their solutions before the Iraqi government becomes so divided that it's too late to accomplish anything.

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