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Iraq constitution draft to be done by August deadline, new Iraqi president says

[JURIST] In his first interview since being named Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani [JURIST report; BBC profile] said Friday that the country's new constitution will be drafted by August 15, meeting the deadline stipulated in the Transitional Administrative Law [text]. There had been speculation that the draft could be delayed [JURIST report] up to six months due to the National Assembly's difficulty in forming a government, but Talabani said that "drafting the constitution will be done on time." Talabani also said that the new government will work to ensure that human rights are respected in Iraq and indicated that the government might enter into a dialogue with "misled Iraqis... who believe that they are carrying weapons to liberate Iraq from what they call occupation" and "call on them to join the Iraqi democratic process and issue a pardon for them." Reuters has more.

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