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Iraq puts off parliament session until April 22

By Staff
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BAGHDAD, Apr 20 (Reuters) Iraqi legislators today postponed parliament until Saturday for the second time in a week to allow wrangling political blocs more time to agree on a government of national unity.

Speaker of parliament Adnan Pachachi made the announcement hours after embattled Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari said his Shi'ite Alliance should decide whether he should resign, a step that could break a months-long deadlock.

''Leaders of political parties have agreed to postpone parliament. There are still some issues that have not been resolved yet,'' Pachachi told a news conference.

The assembly has sat only once since elections in December.

The United States hopes a government comprising Shi'ites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds will foster stability and set the stage for an eventual drawdown of US troops.

It has grown increasingly anxious as Iraqi politicians bicker over forming a government seen as the best hope to avert a sectarian civil war.

REUTERS SHB KP1910

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