Maliki endorsed as new Iraqi PM


Iraq's President Jalal Talabani has asked Shia politician Jawad al-Maliki to form the country's next government.
The move follows months of political deadlock and has raised hopes of an end to sectarian divisions that have threatened to drag Iraq into civil war.
Sentenced to death by Saddam Hussein for belonging to the Shia Daawa Party, Mr Maliki fled Iraq in 1980 and took refuge in Syria.
He returned after the US-led invasion and was a top negotiator for the Shia bloc in the drafting of Iraq's new constitution.
Correspondents say the tough-talking politician was initially not considered a likely candidate for prime minister, partly because of his proximity to Mr Jaafari.
However, Sunni politicians indicated they would not oppose Mr Maliki.

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