Biden Looks To Ease Tensions Between Iraqi Rivals

The two Iraqi leaders vying to become the nation's next prime minister will get personal pleas Sunday from Vice-President Joe Biden to end their rivalry that has delayed the seating of a new government as American troops head home. Biden, the Obama administration's point man on Iraq issues, will discuss the stalled politics in separate meetings with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his chief challenger, former premier Ayad Allawi. Iraqi politicians have been bickering since the March 7 parliamentary election that left the country without a clear winner about who should have the right to form the next government. Al-Maliki and Allawi largely have been driving the delays as each tries to outmanoeuvr the other for a majority share of support in parliament.At a July Fourth citizenship ceremony at one of Saddam Hussein's former hunting lodges, Biden stressed that all of Iraq's competing factions need to feel included in the new government — regardless of who leads it.