January 29th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Key Iraqi bloc ends boycott of parliament

A powerful political bloc in Iraq ended its boycott of the country's parliament on Sunday, describing the move as a "gesture of goodwill."

The Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc is one of the largest political groups in Iraq. It pulled out of parliament in December and returns as recent bloodshed raises fears of renewed sectarian violence.

"The Iraqiya bloc announces, as gesture of goodwill, that it will return to participate the parliament sessions," the group said in a statement. For now, a separate boycott of the cabinet remains in place, it added.

Before the boycott, Iraqiya had been in a power-sharing deal with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law Alliance, backed mostly by Shiites. The political bloc accused the prime minister of cutting it out of the decision-making process.

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