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Sunnis Act to Calm Iraqi Coalition Crisis

Iraq’s coalition crisis took a small step towards resolving itself on Sunday, when a Sunni political bloc ended its boycott of parliament. But key members of the bloc, Iraqiya, continue to boycott meetings of the cabinet. Prime Minister Nouri ¬Al-Maliki, a Shiite, has been in a standoff with his Sunni coalition partners since U.S. troops left the country last month, amid charges he is trying to undermine Iraq’s nascent democracy.  Al-Maliki has indicated that he will replace the Iraqiya cabinet ministers if they do not return. Maysoon Al-Damluji, a spokeswoman for Iraqiya, told a new conference she hoped the move would “defuse the political crisis.” But there were signs that not all Iraqiya members were on the same page, with some saying the return to parliament is temporary. Meanwhile, Iraq protested the use of drones by the U.S. State Department to protect its facilities and personnel in the country.