BAGHDAD: Iraq’s main political leaders — but not firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr — agreed on Wednesday to work on a roadmap aimed at ending the country’s political impasse, after talks called by the premier.

They also pledged to keep talking, and urged Sadr to join what Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi called the “national dialogue”.

Ten months after a general election last October, war-scarred Iraq still has no government, new prime minister or new president, because of disagreement over forming a coalition.

Tensions have been rising since July between the two main Shia factions, one led by Sadr, the other by the pro-Iran Coordination Framework. Attempts to mediate have so far proved fruitless.

Sadr wants parliament dissolved to pave the way for new elections, but the Coordination Framework wants to set conditions and demands a transitional government before new polls.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2022

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