| 24 March 2023, Friday |

Iraq PM calls for national dialogue following Pope’s historic visit

Iraq’s Prime Minister called on Monday for a national dialogue to resolve the country’s outstanding issues as Pope Francis ended his historic trip.

“My brothers and dear opponents, I invite you all to a sincere, open and frank dialogue with the government on the basis of the country’s interest, security and sovereignty,” Mr Al Kadhimi said.

The idea was presented as Pope Francis’ visit presented an opportunity to restore the country’s role in the world despite the challenges it faces, he added

“The special visit, with all the manifestations of national consensus, embodied the essence of our loving, sincere, civilised people who believed in the values of justice and peace,”

The talks, he said, will be based on preserving the security of Iraq, supporting the state and the rule of law

We invite all the different political factions, youth, protesters and opponents of the government to the table to hold the dialogue,” he said.

Political factions and parties must “give priority to the interests of the homeland to prepare for the success of early elections and to give our people the opportunity to trust the state and the democratic system,” he said.

President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, said he supports Mr Al Kadhimi’s initiative to resolve any disputes.

“To reach a final agreement and develop radical solutions to the problems of the Kurdistan Region with the federal Iraqi government in accordance with the constitution,” Mr Barzani said.