- Associated Press - Monday, July 19, 2010

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A leading anti-American Iraqi cleric has met with one of two Iraqi politicians vying to lead the country’s next government.

Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr met with former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in neighboring Syria.

Mr. Allawi and current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are locked in a power struggle over the prime ministership after no clear winner emerged from the March 7 elections. Both sides are struggling to cobble together enough support to form a coalition.

Monday’s meeting could signal that an unusual alliance may be developing.

The impasse has raised fears that militants will try to re-ignite sectarian violence.

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