Hard-line Iraqi cleric urges political unity

A hard-line Shiite cleric is meeting with the president of Iraq's Kurdish region to try to end a political crisis that has deadlocked the nation's government.

Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr offered plans Thursday to resolve the impasse through political inclusiveness.

Iraq's Kurds and Sunnis complain they have been sidelined in the Shiite-led government and are demanding a power-sharing agreement.

Al-Sadr's visit comes a day after the president of the Kurdish area, Massoud Barzani, warned that the Kurdish region he leads would consider seceding from the country if an agreement isn't reached by September.

hiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remained in power despite a poor showing in 2010 elections only with support from al-Sadr and Barzani.

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