Maliki Plans to Name Interior, Defense Ministers Sunday

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says he plans to announce the names of the candidates for the defense and interior ministers to parliament on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, Mr. Maliki said he decided to present his nominations directly to lawmakers, after failing to reach a consensus among the main political blocs.

Mr. Maliki said he feels reaching a consensus has become almost impossible.

Iraq's new national unity government was sworn in on May 20th, without the interior and defense ministers. The two positions are key to improving the country's security situation amid escalating sectarian, factional and terrorist violence.