June 23, 2018 / 3:48 PM / a year ago

Iraqi PM Abadi meets with cleric Sadr

FILE PHOTO - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attends the election campaign, along with his supporters, ahead of the parliamentary election in Kerbala, Iraq May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa al-Deen

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose political bloc came third in a May parliamentary election, met on Saturday with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose bloc came first, in the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf, Abadi’s office said.

It was the first meeting between the pair since Sadr and second-placed Hadi al-Amiri, a Shi’ite militia commander and Iran ally, announced an alliance between their blocs.

Political leaders in Iraq traditionally hold such meetings after elections as part of the lengthy and often complicated process of forming a coalition government, as no one party ever wins enough seats to form a government on its own.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Mark Potter

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