BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's main factions have agreed on the top three political posts, ending an eight-month deadlock that had raised the specter of renewed sectarian violence, Kurdish regional president Masoud Barzani said on Thursday.
Barzani said incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led alliance would get the prime minister post, guaranteeing him a second term, while minority Kurds would keep the presidency.
The inclusion of Iraqiya in what Barzani called a "national partnership" government may help stop a return to the factional fighting that killed tens of thousands following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.
Sunni anger might have reinvigorated a weakened but still deadly Sunni Islamist insurgency had the alliance they voted for in a March 7 election been sidelined.
Barzani did not name the candidates for the top posts but Maliki, a Shi'ite, is the sole nominee for the premiership of the Shi'ite-led National Alliance. Lawmakers have said Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, will return as president.
Iraqi politicians reached a deal late on Wednesday after months of squabbling between Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions. The top posts could be formalized at a session of parliament scheduled for later on Thursday.
"Thank God last night we made a big achievement, which is considered a victory for all Iraqis," Barzani said at a news conference.