US President Joe Biden holds telephonic conversation with Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhemi, urges leaders to support ‘national dialogue’

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhemi

US President Joe Biden (L) and Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhemi (R) (File image)

Photo : AP

Baghdad: United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday held a telephonic conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi. During the call, Biden urged leaders of Iraq to support dialogue for resolving a political crisis that led to violence in the Asian country, reported AFP.
The US president also praised Kadhemi’s leadership and his effort to de-escalate tensions in the country through dialogue and diplomacy. As per a statement by the White House, both the leaders “welcomed the return of security to the streets”. They also called on all Iraqi leaders to engage in a national dialogue to find out a common way forward consistent with Iraq’s constitution and laws.
Biden also voiced support for “a sovereign and independent Iraq”, reported the news agency. Notably, In mid-August, Kadhemi had urged main political leaders to engage in a national dialogue. However, Shia leader Moqtada Sadr did not agree to participate in the national dialogue.
Also Read: Baghdad protests turn violent after Shia leader al-Sadr announces retirement – What is behind the political crisis in Iraq?

Tensions flared in Iraq on Monday as 23 protesters were killed after Sadr supporters stormed the government palace in Baghdad’s Green Zone. All the people who died were followers of the Shiite leader.

At least 380 people have also been injured in the violence. The protest erupted in Iraq after announced of quitting politics on Monday. In a televised address, Sadr urged his supporters to abandon their protests. He also announced a hunger strike until protests were stopped. On Tuesday, his supporters started withdrawing from Baghdad’s Green Zone.

Iraq has been witnessing a political crisis since October last year. The country has been without a new government, prime minister or president.