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Iraqi PM urges Sunni bloc to return to government

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] said Sunday that he refuses to accept the resignations [JURIST report] submitted by six Cabinet ministers who belong to the country's largest Sunni parliamentary bloc. The Iraqi Accordance Front [BBC backgrounder]. The Accordance Front announced last week that it was leaving the government, in a move said to be a response to al-Maliki's failure to respond to demands [JURIST report] made by the party last month, including pardons for uncharged security detainees, the participation of all government-represented groups in security-related issues, and a commitment to human rights.

The Prime Minister said Sunday that the Iraqi government faces "big challenges" but that a "spirit of cooperation and integration" was necessary for success. Accordance Front leaders, however, said they were committed to their resignations. The Front holds 44 of the 275 total seats in the Iraqi Parliament and was an important partner in al-Maliki's National Reconciliation Plan [text]. AP has more.

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