Tuesday, January 03, 2006

AP reports: Iraq's main Sunni Arab group made an unprecedented trip north to see the Kurds and agreed Monday for the first time on broad outlines for a coalition government - possibly opening a way out of the political turmoil that has gripped the country since disputed elections. A promise of Iraqi army protection for tanker truck drivers reopened the country's main refinery - a last-ditch effort by the Shiite-led government to avert a fuel crisis that has led to deadly riots and the oil minister's resignation. As part of the bargaining for a new coalition government, President Jalal Talabani assured Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that his fellow Kurds would not object if the United Iraqi Alliance - the Shiite religious bloc that won the most votes in the election - again nominates him for the prime minister post. [...]