Iraq

UN official stresses importance of dialogue in resolving tensions

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The top United Nations official in Iraq met today with the parliamentary speaker of the country to discuss the recent upsurge in political and sectarian tensions.

Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and the head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), held talks in Baghdad with Usama al-Nujaifi, Speaker of Iraq''s Council of Representatives.

Mr. Kobler emphasized the need for Iraqi political leaders to resolve their differences through dialogue, according to a press statement issued by UNAMI.

He also voiced support for the proposal to hold a national conference, saying it offered a way to "find common ground in the spirit of partnership" based on Iraq''s constitution. which recognizes both the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.

The Special Representative also stressed the important role that the Council of Representatives plays in encouraging democracy to take root in Iraq.

Political tensions have risen in recent weeks in Iraq and the country has also been hit by a series of deadly bomb blasts.