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Originally published June 26, 2014 at 5:45 AM | Page modified June 27, 2014 at 6:33 AM

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Iraq's top cleric wants deal on PM before Tuesday

Iraq's top Shiite cleric has called on the nation's political blocs to agree on the next prime minister before the newly elected parliament sits on Tuesday.


Associated Press

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BAGHDAD —

Iraq's top Shiite cleric has called on the nation's political blocs to agree on the next prime minister before the newly elected parliament sits on Tuesday.

The Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also wants them to agree on the next parliament speaker and the president before the legislature's inaugural session.

A cleric representing al-Sistani told worshippers on Friday in the holy city of Karbala that selecting the three before parliament meets would be a "prelude to the political solution that everyone seeks at the present."

The urgency reflects the deep crisis in Iraq, after Sunni militants blitzed through the north and west this month, capturing vast swaths of territory, including the second-largest city, Mosul.

Iraq's political leaders have been under growing pressure to form an inclusive government.



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