World, Middle East

Iraq's new cabinet almost complete: Premier-designate

Mustafa al-Kadhimi holds talks with political blocs for parliamentary approval

Ali Jawad   | 15.04.2020
Iraq's new cabinet almost complete: Premier-designate

BAGHDAD

A week into his term, Iraq's prime minister-designate announced that efforts to form a new government were complete, pending parliamentary approval.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi told reporters on Tuesday evening that negotiations were currently underway with political blocs to approve the new cabinet in parliament.

Commenting on the presence of foreign troops in the country, al-Kadhimi said: "Iraq is not an arena for settling scores."

He stressed that his priority was to commence genuine national dialogue across Iraqi society, with the aim of "establishing a national vision through which we can build the institutions of the state in a proper manner."

"We have no choice but the comprehensive Iraqi national project, regardless of sub-identities, whether ethnic or sectarian," al-Kadhimi said.

He also pledged to work towards openness with other Arab and Muslim countries in accordance with common interests.

Last Thursday, President Barham Salih named intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi to form a new government.

The move came after Adnan Al-Zurfi withdrew from the candidacy.

Al-Kadhimi, who has been serving as director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service since 2016, received a mandate to form a government within 30 days, as per the constitution.

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

More than 600 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in the protests which were "temporarily" halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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