President Barzani calls on Sadr to start talks with Iraqi parties
A+ A-ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Saturday called on Muqtada al-Sadr to start comprehensive talks with Iraqi political parties, seven months after the influential Shiite cleric quit politics.
Barzani arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to attend a couple of events and meetings with Iraqi officials. One event was to commemorate the death of Sadr’s father, Mohamed Baqr al-Sadr, who was killed by the Baathist regime 43 years ago.
“I see this occasion as an opportunity to ask Mr Sayed Muqtada al-Sadr to start comprehensive talks with all the political parties and leaders,” Barzani said in a speech at the event. He said it was an opportunity to strengthen the reform movement and find Iraqi solutions to Iraqi problems.
Iraq held parliamentary elections in October 2021, but political parties could not reach an agreement on who to nominate for the posts of president and prime minister.
After months of wrangling, Sadr, who commands large popular support and whose movement secured the largest share of votes and 73 seats, ordered all of his members to resign from the parliament in June 2022, making the pro-Iran Coordination Framework the largest coalition in the legislature. Sadr then announced in August that he was retiring from politics.
Relations between Sadrists and the Coordination Framework remain tense with Sadr’s supporters opposed to the Framework’s pick for prime minister, Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, accusing him of being close to former premier Nouri al-Maliki who Sadr blames for endemic corruption while he was in office.
Earlier in the day, Barzani met with Maliki, a key figure of the ruling coalition in Baghdad. They discussed the latest developments and challenges the country is facing, according to Barzani’s office.
The Kurdish president also met with Fayeq Zeydan, head of the Supreme Judicial Council, and Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi. He is expected to meet with Sudani and Iraqi President Latif Rashid.