Iraqi PM Says He'll Reshuffle Cabinet in Coming Weeks

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday he will reshuffle his Cabinet in coming days, as his government faces mounting U.S. pressure to take greater responsibility for security and other efforts to stabilize the country.

"The reshuffle will be either this week or next week," al-Maliki told The Associated Press in an interview in Baghdad's heavily protected Green Zone.

Al-Maliki did not indicate the extent of the changes, including whether the overhaul would include replacing key posts such as the defense and foreign ministers.

The reshuffle could coincide with preparations for an international conference March 10 that is expected to bring together dozens of Western and Islamic nations, including the United States and members of the Arab League.

Iraq also has invited neighboring Iran, which has close ties to Iraq's major Shiite political factions that support the government of al-Maliki, a Shiite.

Washington has pressed Iraq to take steps to improve its security forces, which could help pave the way for possible U.S. troop withdrawals.