Iraqi Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq (L) and Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi hold a news conference for the seniors of Iraqiya bloc in Baghdad January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen
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Iraq's top Sunni Muslim politician said Wednesday he would back Shi'ite Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for a new term as long as conditions such as bringing Shi'ite militias under state control and balancing relations with other countries are fulfilled.Osama al-Nujaifi, Iraq's Sunni Vice President, was in Washington for talks with senior State Department and congressional officials to discuss issues facing Iraq as the battle against Islamic State winds down.Iraq will hold parliamentary elections on May 15 . Nujaifi singled out the Iran-backed Shi'ite militia forces known as Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMFs) as one of the biggest challenges in post-Daesh Iraq, and said it would be impossible to hold elections if their weaponry was not brought under government control.Abadi has promised to rein in the militias but it is a daunting task and Iraqi and Western officials say he is too weak to take on the militias directly.
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