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Iraq officials call for dialogue to resolve political deadlock

August 18, 2022 at 9:47 am

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi holds a national dialogue meeting with the representatives of political parties in the presence of Iraqi President Barham Salih, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert and the heads of the legislature and the judiciary in Baghdad, Iraq on August 17, 2022. [Iraqi PM Press Office – Anadolu Agency]

After meeting with political leaders, the leaders of three political institutions in Iraq yesterday called on followers of Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr to engage in national dialogue to resolve the political deadlock, news agencies reported.

Iraqi President Barham Salih, Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi, caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and leaders of Iraqi factions met and discussed political deadlock in the country.

Al-Sadr and his followers, who have been involved in protests calling for the dissolution of the newly-elected parliament, did not attend the meeting.

A statement issued by Al-Kadhimi’s office said that the participants “expressed their commitment to finding a solution to all crises through dialogue to preserve the unity of Iraq, the security and stability of its people.”

READ: Iraq’s Sadr suspends planned protest amid tension over government formation

They also called for an end to all forms of field, media or political escalation and urged members of the Sadrist Movement, who have staged sit-in protests, to engage in the national dialogue.

The leaders agreed to continue the dialogue in order to draw a legal and constitutional roadmap to address the current deadlock.

Al-Kadhimi invited the rival political parties to hold a meeting to seek a solution to the political deadlock as disputes escalated in the past weeks between Al-Sadr and his rivals.

On 3 August, Al-Sadr, who withdrew his MPs from the parliament, urged his followers to continue their protests until their demands to dissolve the parliament and hold early elections are met.