PUSH FOR NEW GOVERNMENT IN IRAQ BEGINS

BAGHDAD — The secular former prime minister and U.S. favorite Ayad Allawi is leading a new push to replace the Shiite-led administration of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with a broad-based government that would focus on restoring order.Amid deepening concerns among Sunnis and secularists about al-Maliki’s performance, Allawi has emerged at the center of an initiative to create a “national salvation front,” which his supporters say would be able to secure the backing of Iraqi insurgents, reunite the country and end the sectarian conflict that has prevailed for more than a year.

Petraeus reiterated the view expressed by military commanders in the past that, ultimately, a resolution of the conflict in Iraq will require political reconciliation between the factions. “That is what will determine in the long run the success of this effort. And again, that clearly has to include talking with and eventually reconciling differences with some of those who have felt that the new Iraq did not have a place for them,” he said.”Prime Minister Maliki clearly believes that it does, and I think that his actions will demonstrate that,” Petraeus added.

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