Iraqi leaders in Baghdad to sign peace charter
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Leaders of Iraq's political groups have gathered in the capital Baghdad to sign an agreement aiming at stopping the bloodshed in the country. Thursday's meeting was called by Iraq's Vice President Khodair al-Khozaei to sign the Charter of Honor and Social Peace. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and leader of Supreme Islamic Council Seyyed Ammar al-Hakim attended the meeting at the presidential palace. The charter was introduced by the vice president back in May in an effort to maintain national unity and protect the country from sectarian violence. According to the United Nations, 1,057 Iraqis, including 928 civilians, were killed and another 2,326 were wounded in terrorist attacks throughout the country in July -- the deadliest month since 2008. And 804 Iraqis lost their lives in August in the deadly attacks, a third of which took place in Baghdad. In an interview with Press TV in July, an international human rights lawyer said that foreign powers are attempting to fabricate and benefit from Shia-Sunni discord in Iraq and elsewhere, seeking to see the Muslim world weakened in the wake of such rifts. "Who benefits is of course the key issue. It's really not the people of Iraq, it's not the Sunnis, it's not the Shias. It is external powers that want to exploit and create division. Those are the parties that benefit," said Canada-based attorney Edward Corrigan. Iraq's Interior Ministry has said that militants have launched an open war in Iraq and they want to push the Middle Eastern country into chaos.