Iraqi PM al-Maliki to visit Egypt Tuesday

Iraq's outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will visit Egypt on Tuesday night, meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Nazif, before speaking on Wednesday morning with President Hosni Mubarak, according to Egyptian officials, who said the talks between Iraq's premiere and Egypt's president will tackle Iraq's political deadlock–represented by the failure to agree on the formation of the new government–as well as bilateral relations.

Al-Maliki's visit is part of a regional tour that includes Syria, Jordan, and later Iran.

Egypt has always asserted impartiality in dealing with Iraq's rival factions, but al-Maliki's visit will further bolster his efforts to form a new government.

Last week, Cairo received Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, along with other Iraqi officials.

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