Nouri Maliki starts work on forming Iraq government

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has formally asked Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to form a new government. The move gives Mr Maliki 30 days in which to negotiate yet more potential hurdles as he hands out ministerial portfolios to all political factions. He called on Iraqis to turn over a new page and forget their differences, BBC reports.

The announcement is part of a power-sharing agreement ending a world record eight months of political deadlock since March’s inconclusive elections. “I charge you … Nouri Maliki to form the new government, which we hope will be a real national partnership government which will not exclude any faction,” President Jalal Talabani said at a ceremony at the al-Salam presidential palace in Baghdad. This is one more step along the tortuous road to a new government, says the BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse in the Iraqi capital.

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