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Nuri Kamil Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki, also known as Jawad al-Maliki or Abu Esraa is the Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party. Al-Maliki and his government succeeded the Iraqi Transitional Government. He is currently in his second term as Prime Minister. His first Cabinet was approved by the National Assembly and sworn in on 20 May 2006; his second Cabinet, in which he also holds the positions of acting Interior Minister, acting Defense Minister, and acting National Security Minister, was approved on 21 December 2010. Al-Maliki began his political career as a Shia dissident under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in the late 1970s and rose to prominence after he fled a death sentence into exile for 24 years. During his time abroad, he became a senior leader of Dawa, coordinated the activities of anti-Saddam guerillas and built relationships with Iranian and Syrian officials whose help he sought in overthrowing Saddam. While having worked closely with United States and coalition forces in Iraq since their departure by the end of 2011, there have been claims that al-Maliki has been trying to gain control over the armed groups in his country as means to consolidate the Prime Minister's power and marginalize Sunni opposition. (via Freebase)