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2/12/2006 World News: Iraqi Shi'ite Coalition Elect Al-Jaafari As Prime Minister


Iraq: Iraq's ruling Shi'ite alliance has chosen incumbent Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to head the new government.
He received 64 votes in the caucus of Shi'ite legislators, beating his rival, Vice President Abel Abdul-Mahdi by one vote.
The Shi'ite alliance won a majority in Iraq's December legislative election. Naming the prime minister is a key step in forming a new Iraqi government, the nation's first post-Saddam Hussein parliament with a four-year mandate.

Iran Nuclear: Iran's Foreign Ministry today (Sunday) downplayed a threat by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi issued the latest declaration a day after the Iranian president said he would make such a move if international pressure to end Iran's nuclear program increases.
Asefi told a weekly news conference Iran is still committed to the provisions of the non-proliferation treaty, but that Tehran cannot accept its use as a political tool. He also urged the International Atomic Energy Agency and Europeans to continue to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Cartoons Protest: Indonesia says Denmark has acted in haste in its decision to temporarily withdraw its diplomats and embassy staff from the country amid Muslim protests over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said today (Sunday) Indonesia's security measures to protect the Danes are more than adequate. Wirajuda told reporters that Danish officials said there was a telephone threat, but that Indonesian officials have no way to confirm there was such a threat
On Saturday, Denmark pulled diplomats from their post in Indonesia, and warned Danish citizens to leave because of credible information they are being targeted in the world's largest Muslim majority country.

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