US Hails Iraq Breakthrough

Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders announce deal on key issues
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2007 5:15 AM CDT
US Hails Iraq Breakthrough
A pilgrim displays a poster of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as he marches to the holy city of Karbala, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007. Over a million of Shiite pilgrims from throughout the world are expected to gather in the Shiite holy city of Karbala...   (Associated Press)

In what is being hailed as a breakthrough in Iraq, Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders yesterday  announced that they have reached a consensus on key political issues, Reuters reports. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the other leaders claimed to have forged an agreement on releasing some detainees, easing curbs on employing former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, and distribution of power to provinces.

The White House praised the agreement  as an "important symbol" of the leaders' "commitment to work together." But skeptics will be watching for concrete action. The announcement comes two weeks before top US officials in Iraq present an assessment of the nation's status. (Read more Iraq stories.)

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