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IraqSide:Developments
Daily Column
Iraqi Papers Sun: Anti-Allawi Plotters?
Iyad Allawi Claims Conspiracy to Kill Him; Iraqis Celebrate Big Soccer Victory
07/22/2007 09:35 AM ET
Baghdad, Jul 22, (VOI) – Iraqi newspapers on Sunday highlighted U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker's meetings with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, and focused on Maliki's calls for the Iraqi parliament to shorten its summer recess.

The government-funded al-Sabah newspaper published a news report entitled, 'Maliki urges parliament to shorten summer recess, cooperate to solve problems.' Quoting political observers, the newspaper said that many unresolved issues, including the oil and debaathification laws, are expected to be settled by September 2007.

During his meeting with Crocker and U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for Iraq and the Middle East Megan O'Sullivan, Maliki was quoted as saying, "The political process has to move forward and the government should work with parliament to help the Iraqi people in these difficult circumstances."

The premier expressed his hope that the parliament would cancel or shorten its summer recess to help the Iraqi government solve pending issues, including the filling of vacant ministerial portfolios.

Al-Ittihad newspaper, issued by Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), devoted most of its first page to the U.S. ambassador's meeting with the Iraqi president and highlighted their calls for pushing forward the Iraqi political process.

Celebrating Iraq's national football team's progress to the semi-finals of the 14th Asia Cup of Nations, the newspaper said that Iraqi footballers invaded Vietnam's net two times in a game played in the Thai capital Bangkok on Saturday.

Iraq's Hezbollah Movement's al-Bayyina newspaper published a front-page headline that read, 'Ali al-Dabbagh: Iran, U.S. seek to continue dialogue on Iraq' under which it quoted a spokesman for the Iraqi government, Ali al-Dabbagh, as saying that the U.S. and Iranian governments expressed their willingness to continue talks on Iraq and urged Iraq to play a positive role in discussions.

Under the headline, 'Iraq fulfilled 75% of its commitments,' the newspaper quoted U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, as indicating that the Iraqi government has met 75% of its benchmarks despite all challenges facing it.

A report on the progress made by the Iraqi government will be submitted to the U.N. secretary general and the international community this month to urge all countries that participated in the Sharm al-Sheikh conference to fulfill their commitments towards Iraq.

Baghdad newspaper, the mouthpiece of former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's al-Wifaq Movement, quoted Allawi as claiming that his life is threatened. Accusing unidentified parties in the Iraqi political process of conspiring against him, Allawi said that there is a "clear" plan to destroy him and curtail his political activities. In an interview with Abu Dhabi Television, Allawi said, "It is no honor to be a prime minister of a government based on a sectarian quota system."

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