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Allawi Calls for Urgent National Dialogue to ‘Salvage Iraq’

Allawi Calls for Urgent National Dialogue to ‘Salvage Iraq’

Saturday, 13 April, 2019 - 07:15
Members of Iraqi security forces chant slogans in Baghdad June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi urged on Friday political parties to hold a national dialogue to "salvage Iraq" and face regional and international challenges.

“The current challenges and circumstances surrounding Iraq and the region require urgent action” to bridge the gap among rival sides and “solve problems and assume the historic responsibility of building a unified Iraq,” Allawi said.

The former PM chaired on Friday a meeting of the Iraqi Forum, which he has created with a group of independent Iraqi politicians.

He called on naming a general secretariat for the political parties attending Friday’s meeting to follow-up on their decisions and later present them to the Prime Minister.

Allawi heads the al-Wataniya (National) coalition with 21 deputies represented in the Iraqi Parliament.

Commenting on Allawi’s call for swift action to save Iraq, National Coalition MP Kazem al-Shammari told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday that the country lacks a unified vision on a number of regional and international challenges.

“This means more diversion in our positions, mainly on issues related to sanctions on Iran and the Revolutionary Guards, and the possible blacklisting of Iraqi factions and figures,” he said.

Shammari called on dealing with the challenges as a nation and not through a partisan vision.

Iraq also faces domestic problems.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has not been able to complete his cabinet, despite taking his oath six months ago.

Also, Iraqi leaders have failed to deal with corruption and the threat of terrorism as new ISIS cells continue to emerge across the country.

Iraqi intellectual Hassan Al-Alawi told Asharq Al-Awsat that Allawi’s invitation for action is important. However, he doubted that parties would heed his call.

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