The president of Iraq's Governing Council says he believes delegates will be able to resolve objections to a draft interim constitution and sign the document on Monday.
Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum spoke Saturday after he and other Shi'ite Muslim members of the council met with the son of Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric in the southern city of Najaf.
Their talks focused on the objections of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to two clauses in the interim constitution, which derailed the document's scheduled signing on Friday.
The senior cleric objected to a clause dealing with the make-up of Iraq's presidency and to another clause about veto rights against a permanent constitution.
The reclusive ayatollah is playing an increasingly influential role in Iraqi politics as religious leader of 60 percent of the country's population.
Meanwhile, President Bush used his Saturday radio address to say Iraqis are making excellent progress toward democracy. He also expressed condolences for Tuesday's attacks on Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad and Karbala that killed 170 people.
Mr. Bush vowed that coalition forces, along with the people of Iraq, will defeat the terrorists trying to plunge the country into "chaos and violence."
Separately, the Democratic Party's likely presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, said if he is elected president, he would never send US troops into harm's way without enough firepower and support.