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Iraq aims to finish constitution on time under US pressure

[JURIST] After US officials applied itense pressure over the weekend, Humam Hammoudi, the head of the Iraq's constitutional drafting committee [official website] agreed Monday to adhere to the original August 15 deadline to complete the draft after the committee announced Sunday [JURIST report] that it would submit a request to the National Assembly to extend its own internal draft due date by 30 days beyond August 1. US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad met with President of Iraq Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] late Sunday, urging the commission to stick to the deadline as a way to ensure political momentum, counter the insurgency and expedite troop withdrawal by coalition forces. Hammoudi said that if political leaders meet this week to resolve continuing differences over the role of Islam, federalism and national wealth distribution [JURIST report] among others, he was confident they would be able to "conclude the constitution" in time. AP has more.

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