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Kurds may drop secession demands in Iraq constitution negotiations

[JURIST] Kurdish officials discussed dropping their demand for a constitutional right to secede Saturday, as negotiations continued on the drafting of the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive]. Kurds have faced opposition to their demand for self-determination [JURIST report] from various Sunni groups associated with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's Dawa Party [party website in Arabic] and cleric Muqtada al-Sadr [Wikipedia profile]. This opposition has been instrumental in the disagreements that forced the drafting committee to request a week-long extension [JURIST report] on August 15. The draft must now be completed by Monday, August 22. AP has more.

In a related development, US officials eased pressure on Islamists Saturday concerning the role of Islamic law as a source for the new constitution. Shiite clerics have urged government leaders to use Islam as a primary source for the new law [JURIST report], while other groups are concerned about the implications for women and civil rights [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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