Dianavan:"One of the Sadrist politicians' top demands was a timetable for a withdrawal of American troops, a handover of security to the Iraqi government and a promise not to agree to more U.S. troops without the consent of the parliament. They returned only after a committee was formed to discuss their demands and present them to the parliament, said Nassar al-Rubaie, head of the Sadrist bloc."
"BAGHDAD -- When radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's supporters walked out of the Iraqi government last November to protest Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's meeting in Jordan with President Bush, everyone expected al-Maliki to send an emissary to coax the radical anti-U.S. cleric back into the fold.
When al-Sadr dispatched two envoys, however, al-Maliki asked what they wanted. When he was told that they wanted to discuss the budget, he had them thrown out.
"I don't want to see any of them," one of al-Maliki's aides recalled him saying. "Tell them to come back with an apology because they've let down the government at a crucial time."
Al-Sadr's followers agreed to rejoin the government last month, although al-Maliki made none of the concessions the firebrand Shiite cleric demanded.