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Iraqi Leaders Discuss Draft Constitution

5 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari today had talks with Iraq's top Shiite cleric to discuss Iraq's new constitution.

Al-Ja'fari talked with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Al-Najaf. Sistani later said that Sistani said the constitution should reflect Iraq's sectarian, ethnic, and political make-up.

Al-Ja'fari said Sistani is willing to accept a federal Iraq if Iraqis want it.

Meanwhile, Iraqi leaders have postponed a meeting aimed at resolving the remaining differences over the country's draft constitution. The meeting was scheduled for today but was put off until 7 August.

Iraqi leaders say they will have the new constitution ready by 15August.

Outstanding issues that need to be solved reportedly include federalism, the role of Islam, and distribution of the country's oil wealth.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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