Obama clear he has lost faith in Iraq's prime minister Maliki

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US President Barack Obama with Prime Minister Photo:

By: Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent

President Obama made it clear last night that he'd lost faith in Prime Minister Maliki, saying that only inclusive leaders will bring Iraq together.

There have been reports this week that America has been talking to some old friends about who might lead Iraq into a more conciliatory political future. The New York Times reported that the US Ambassador in Baghdad met with Ahmed Chalabi - the former leader of the Saddam-era opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress.

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Obama seems to have lost faith in Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Credit: REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

A long time Chalabi aide, Haidar Musawi, told me this morning that the "only way out of this crisis is for Maliki to go. He took Iraq to this point, I don't think he can take us out of it."

Chalabi comes with quite a lot of baggage though; he is associated with the dodgy intelligence which led the US to conclude that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction in the run up to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and he later fell out with Washington over his links to Iran.

Chalabi is a member of Iraq's parliament, but he enjoys nothing like the support of Mr Maliki, whose party won most seats in the recent elections.

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