Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is fighting for his political life as a Sunni insurgency fractures the country, said on Wednesday he hoped parliament could form a new government in its next session after the first collapsed in discord. Baghdad can ill afford a long delay. Large swathes of the north and west have fallen under the control of an al Qaeda splinter group that has declared it is setting up a “caliphate” and has vowed to march on the capital. Yet the mounting concern and pressure from the United States, Iran, the United Nations and Iraq’s own Shi’ite clerics have done little to end the paralyzing divisions between Iraq’s main ethnic and sectarian blocs.
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