BAGHDAD - Iraq's political bazaar is branching out.

BAGHDAD - A Muslim cleric who once used a militia to resist the American invasion positioned himself as a big winner in Iraq's monthslong political deadlock Friday when his party threw its support behind the beleaguered prime minister.

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq - A leader of Kurdish rebels seeking greater autonomy in Turkey said Thursday the group will extend its unilateral cease-fire for another month in hopes of opening talks with Turkish leaders.

DAMASCUS, Syria - A leading candidate in the contested race to lead Iraq's new government insisted during a visit to Syria on Wednesday that he would not take part in any coalition headed by his rival, the current prime minister.

TEHRAN, Iran - The two Iranian diplomats who defected this month in Europe chose to stay abroad for mostly personal reasons and not because of any political motives, the spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry said Tuesday.
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