Baghdad: Iraq`s two main political blocs led
by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and ex-premier Iyad Allawi
broke off coalition talks on Monday over remarks made by Maliki on
television, Allawi`s group said.
"We ceased negotiations with (Maliki`s) State of Law,"
spokeswoman Maysoon al-Damaluji said to a news agency.
She was referring to Maliki`s comments that the secular
Iraqiya was a "Sunni bloc" in a television interview to be
broadcast later the same day on Al-Hurra, a US-funded,
"We are not a Sunni bloc, we are a nationalist project,"
the spokeswoman for Allawi`s group insisted.
However, Allawi`s party left the door open for a return
to talks. "We have asked him to apologise. Without an apology,
we are not going to negotiate with him anymore," she said.
While Allawi is a Shiite, like Maliki and the majority of
Iraqis, his bloc claimed most of its support from the
predominantly Sunni regions of western and northern Iraq in a
March 7 general election.
Iraqiya narrowly won the election with 91 seats in the
325-seat parliament, while Maliki`s State of Law finished with
More than five months on from the vote, neither bloc, nor
two other major politics groups which won substantial numbers
of seats in the poll, has yet managed to form a governing
coalition with the necessary majority.