UN calls for 'peaceful, inclusive' talks to form Iraqi government ​


The United Nations on Saturday urged Iraq’s political parties to form an "effective” national government through peaceful and inclusive talks as supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr remain inside the Iraqi parliament.

Sadr supporters stormed Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and forced their way into the legislative chamber in protest of the pro-Iran Coordination Framework’s candidate for the Iraqi premiership.

The UN called for "immediate steps to de-escalate the situation” following clashes between protestors and Iraqi security forces.

"Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights that must be respected at all times,” read a statement by Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq. 

The UN "urges all parties and actors to rise above their differences and form, through peaceful and inclusive dialogue, an effective national government that will be able to deliver on longstanding demands for reform, without further delay,” he added.

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday said he is following the events in Iraq with a "deep concern." 

Barzani called Iraqi political blocs to the Kurdish capital of Erbil to begin "open and unified" talks aimed at reaching a joint agreement between the parties. 

At least 125 protestors, including security forces, were injured on Saturday when Sadr supporters flocked into the parliament building for the second time in under a week, deepening the political impasse that has engulfed Iraq. 

The US embassy in Baghdad expressed concern over reports of violence in the protests while Iraqi officials called for dialogue. 

Sadr supporters staged an open-ended sit-in inside the parliament building in opposition to the nomination of Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani, Iraq’s former minister of labor and social affairs, as a candidate for the country’s prime minister position by the pro-Iran Coordination Framework.

Sadr, who was the main winner of the October elections, withdrew from the parliament last month after failing to reach an agreement with the framework to form a government.

However, despite no longer having representatives in the parliament, the Sadrist movement remains strong and popular on Iraqi streets, and a single tweet from the cleric pours thousands of protestors into the streets


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