Baghdad: Iraq's main Sunni Arab bloc rejoined the Shiite-led government on Saturday in a breakthrough for national reconciliation after parliament approved its candidates for several vacant ministerial posts.
The bloc's spokesman, Salim Al Jubouri, said after the vote, "Today, parliament voted to accept our candidates ... This means the Accordance Front has officially returned to the Government.
"It is a real step forward for political reform."
Getting the Front to return after it quit the cabinet a year ago in a row over power sharing has been seen as key to healing divisions between majority Shiites and minority Sunni Arabs.
Sunni Arabs have little voice in the current cabinet, which is dominated by Shiites and ethnic Kurds.
The Front pulled out of Maliki's cabinet in August last year, demanding a greater say in security policies as well as the release of mainly Sunni Arab detainees. Most of its cabinet seats were never filled.