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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 09:51 GMT
Sadr group ends political boycott
Radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr
The Sadr alliance say their grievances have been addressed
The political followers of Iraq's radical Shia cleric, Moqtada Sadr, say they are ending a two-month boycott of Iraq's parliament and government.

The boycott was imposed as a protest over a planned meeting between Iraq's prime minister and President Bush.

Correspondents say the move signifies an easing of tensions among Shia groups in Iraq's government.

The anti-US group, a key member of PM Nouri Maliki's coalition, has 32 MPs in the 275-seat parliament.

The Mehdi Army, the Shia militia loyal to Moqtada Sadr, has fought sporadic battles with the US since 2003 and has been identified as a disruptive force within Iraq by Washington.

'New beginning'

The Sadrists announced their decision at a news conference with senior figures from the umbrella Shia alliance.

"Since there has been a response to our demands, we declare that we will attend parliament today," said Bahaa al-Araji, a Sadrist spokesman.

Opposition to the continued US presence in Iraq has been a key feature of the group's demands.

At the news conference, parliamentary speaker Mahmoud al-Mashadani said all parliamentary parties would now form a committee to discuss the reasons for the boycott and resolve the issues.

"This is a new beginning," he said.

"We want to say to the world that an Iraqi solution for Iraqi problems is the key, and others must support these solutions."

Moqtada al Sadr ends boycott of Iraqi government

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