04:27 GMT +318 July 2018
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    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who's political bloc came third in a May parliamentary election, meets with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who's bloc came first, in Najaf

    Iraqi PM Abadi and Anti-American Shiite Cleric Sadr Announce Alliance

    © REUTERS / Alaa al-Marjani
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    The Sairun Alliance, backed by the prominent Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, won 54 parliamentary mandates during the first Iraqi parliamentary election since Daesh* defeat.

    When speaking at the a news conference in the Shiite holy city of Najaf where Muqtada Sadr lives, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced a political alliance with the prominent Shiite cleric.

    On Thursday, Abadi called on the winning political blocs to hold a meeting to form a new government, which, according to the prime minister, may happen after the celebration of the end of the Muslim holy month Ramadan.

    READ MORE: US Forces Still Seen As Occupying Iraq, Al-Sadr Adviser Says

    Sadr's Saairun Alliance won the May 2018 elections, securing 54 seats in the Iraqi parliament, while the Conquest Alliance led by Hadi Amiri gained 47 seats, and Abadi's Victory Alliance earned 42 seats in the 329-seat parliament.

    Sadr is known as an anti-American cleric who led the Iraqi Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army in their fight against US troops following the 2003 invasion, according to media reports.

    Elections to the Iraqi parliament were held on May 12 for the first time after the country was liberated from Daesh terrorists.

    *Daesh, also known as ISIS, Islamic State is a terrorist group banned in Russia

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    Saairun Alliance, Muqtada al-Sadr, Haider al-Abadi, Iraq
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