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August 27, 2007

Some Political Progress In Iraq: Beginnings Of Power-Sharing Discussions

Note it only seems to be an agreement to find agreement, and it is almost certainly heavily influenced by the need to appease US domestic opinion, but it's something.

President Bush on Monday applauded what he called a promising sign of political progress by Iraqi leaders who said they had found common ground on some issues standing in the way of reconciliation.

``The agreement begins to establish new power-sharing agreements, commits to supporting bottom-up security and political initiatives, and advances agreement among Iraq's leadership on several key legislative benchmarks,'' Bush said in a brief statement upon his arrival in Albuquerque.

He said the Iraqi parliament must pass legislation to put these agreements into law when it reconvenes in early September.

...

The Iraqi leaders said they agreed on some issues that the U.S. has set as benchmarks for progress, among them holding provincial elections, releasing prisoners held without charge and changing the law preventing many former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from holding government jobs and elected office.

But no details were released and committees must hash out final versions of legislation to be presented to the Iraqi parliament. Iraqi officials have announced similar deals in the past, only to have them fall apart.


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