updated 3/10/2005 11:53:33 AM ET 2005-03-10T16:53:33

Iraq’s main Shiite party and a Kurdish bloc have reached a deal that sets the stage for a new government to be formed when the National Assembly convenes next week, officials from both sides said Thursday.

The deal calls for the government to begin discussion on the return of about 100,000 Kurds to the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk and talks about redrawing existing Kurdish regions to include the city in Iraq’s new constitution.

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