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Iraq: officials call for national dialogue to end political deadlock

Iraqi President Barham Salih during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq on September 02, 2020 [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi President Barham Salih during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq on September 02, 2020 [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

Officials in Iraq called on Wednesday for a national dialogue to end the country's political deadlock, Anadolu news agency has reported. President Barham Salih met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Baghdad to discuss the recent political developments.

According to a statement issued by the Iraqi president's office, the two men discussed the importance of ensuring security and stability, with a commitment to calm and reliance on a careful and responsible dialogue that addresses the crisis. The intention is to set out a clear roadmap and solutions to protect the national interest as a priority.

Salih has also met with the head of the UN Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and discussed the latest political developments. "The circumstances in the country require a commitment to calm and to engage in an honest and careful dialogue that deals with the political situation in order to reach a clear roadmap," he told the UN official. In response, Hennis-Plasschaert stressed that the mission supports dialogue between all parties and access to paths that preserve security and stability and achieve Iraqi aspirations.

On Saturday, leaders from various Iraqi political blocs called on the Sadrist movement and the pro- Iran Coordination Framework to engage in dialogue and halt escalations. This came after thousands of Muqtada Al-Sadr's supporters stormed the parliament building for the second time in less than a week in rejection of the Coordination Framework candidate, Mohammed Shayya Al-Sudani, heading the next government.

Kadhimi also met with the head of Al-Fatah Alliance, Hadi Al-Amiri, on Wednesday and discussed ways to end the current crisis. Al-Amiri called on Monday for both the Sadrist movement and the Coordination Framework to get involved in dialogue aimed at calming the situation and warding off strife. He called on both sides to "employ logic, reason, wisdom, and restraint, and to find solutions to the differences between them through serious and constructive dialogue."

However, Al-Sadr rejected Al-Amiri's invitation to take part in the dialogue and insisted that the latter must withdraw from the Coordination Framework before engaging in any talks.

READ: UN Mission calls for urgent solutions to Iraq crisis

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