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Iraq prime minister says committed to government formation process

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday he is committed to a parliament session planned within a week that will start the process of forming a new government.

"We will attend the first session of parliament in harmony with the constitutional merits and out of the commitment to the call of the Supreme Marjaiya and out of loyalty to our people," he said on state television, referring to country's most respected Shi'ite clergy.

Mohammed Sawaf | AFP | Getty Images

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On Friday, Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for the government formation process to begin.

A mounting Sunni insurgency is threatening to rupture the country two and a half years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.