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Update: Iraqi Newspaper Casts Doubt on Reported Meeting

Yesterday ThreatsWatch published a report (Sadr's Ties with Sunni Militants Go Sour) in which we discussed a purported mediation by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in which he purportedly had arranged a meeting between the leaders of the most influential Shia and Sunni political factions. This meeting, were it to go forward, would be of some importance for reasons explained in our report. Our report was based on an article in the respected international Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, which sourced the story to unnamed sources close to the president.

Today, however, the Iraqi newspaper Al-Rafidayn (Arabic) has reported comments from Talabani denying any involvement in arranging the purported meeting. We have not come across comments from either of the leaders who were to be involved. Other information we reported based on the same article was quoted to named individuals, and we have no reason to believe that it was inaccurate.

ThreatsWatch has contacted Al-Hayat seeking confirmation or retraction of the original story, and will provide an update when more information is available.