A senior Iraqi official was quoted on Thursday as saying the government was holding talks with some major insurgent groups that might be nearing a point where a number would join forces against al Qaeda.
Saad Yousif al-Muttalibi, director of international affairs in Iraq's National Dialogue and Reconciliation Ministry, said the talks were designed to help drive al Qaeda out of the country.
"We've already established links and contacts with major insurgent groups,"Muttalibi told the BBC, according to a report on the broadcaster's Web site.
"One of the aims is to join with them into the fight against al Qaeda. We are almost getting there and to join forces to attack al Qaeda to get them out of Iraq,"he said.