As I wrote yesterday, never count on a deal as being “imminent” in the Middle East. I did however ask you to be hypothetical, to imagine that these talks would be productive, that they would lead to a new government. Well, it seems that this optimism has lasted less than a full business day.
Al Jazeera reports that “the opening remarks of the meeting indicated that neither Nouri Al-Maliki, Iraq’s incumbent prime minister, nor his chief rival, Iyad Allawi, had backed down from their negotiating positions.”
Talks resumed today in Baghdad, but the BBC is reporting that Iyad Allawi (whose Iraqiya bloc is supposedly to be included in the deal to form a new government) did not even attend the event, raising concerns about his commitment to the deal, or weather he was ever even open to it to begin with.
Many were hoping that these talks would lead to a planned meeting of Iraqi parliament on Thursday. However, it is unclear if lawmakers will attend the session if the current talks bear no significant fruit.