Iraq PM urges rival parties to solve political deadlock through talks

BAGHDAD: In a bid to break the country's political impasse, top Iraqi officials and political figures have urged followers of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to participate in a national discussion.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and leaders of national political forces met in a meeting where Iraqi President Barham Salih, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Barham Salih, and 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," the report reads.

The meeting's attendees also asked the Sadrist Movement, which has organised sit-in protests, to participate in the national discourse and called for an end to any forms of field, media, or political escalation.

Al-Sadr was not present at the meeting on Wednesday, nor were his supporters. The leaders decided to keep talking so that a legal and constitutional road map might be created to break the current impasse.

The possibility of dissolving the parliament to hold new elections as demanded by al-Sadr was mentioned in a statement released by the office of caretaker prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. "Resorting once again to the polls through early elections is not an exceptional event in the history of democratic experiences when political crises reach dead ends," the statement reads.

In light of the recent escalation in hostilities between al-Sadr and his opponents from the Coordination Framework (CF), an umbrella group  of Shia parliamentary parties, Al-Kadhimi summoned the opposing political parties to a meeting to try to find a way out of the political impasse.

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