PUK President receives Iraq’s PM-designate Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani

President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Bafel Talabani and Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Bafel Talabani received Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani on Friday in Baghdad.

Talabani’s office said that he received Sudani who has been freshly tasked by Iraq’s newly elected President, Latif Rashid, to form the new government within 30 days.

Talabani and Sudani’s meeting discussed the strategies of the new Iraqi government, according to the office of the PUK President.

“The integration of the efforts to form a national service government during its legal designated period and steps toward more serving the people were discussed,” Talabani’s office said.

The President of the PUK has renewed his congratulations for Sudani’s new “endeavor” and “responsibility”.

President Talabani also stressed the protection of the constitutional right of the Kurdish people.

“Protecting the constitutional right of the Kurdish people is the duty of the new government, it must look at the Kurdish people and other Iraqi nations with one eye,” Talabani told Sudani.

PUK President hoped that all sides work with “one team”, for the sake of fulfilling the high objectives as well as resolving the issues on a constitutional basis.

“I hope the new government step with a new perspective toward healthy governing. It should neither repeat the past mistakes nor merge the political issues with governing and that the people not be the victim of the disputes,” Talabani added.

Sudani praised Talabani in return for succeeding in this “national step”.

“Today, I visited a brother, friend, and prominent participant of the new government,” Sudani said.

“President Talabani and PUK are our honest partners, together we will step to construct a brighter future,” Sudani quoted.

Iraq’s parliament on Thursday elected Kurdish politician Abdul Latif Rashid from the PUK as president, who immediately named Mohammed Shia al-Sudani prime minister-designate, ending a year of deadlock after a national election in October last year.

The presidency, traditionally occupied by a Kurd, is a largely ceremonial position, but the vote for Rashid was a key step toward forming a new government, which politicians have failed to do since the election.

Rashid, 78, was the Iraqi minister of water resources from 2003-2010. The British-educated engineer won against former President Barham Salih, who was running for a second term.

He invited Sudani, the nominee of the largest parliamentary bloc known as the Coordination Framework, an alliance of Iran-aligned factions, to form a government. Sudani, 52, previously served as Iraq’s human rights minister as well as minister of labour and social affairs.

Sudani now has 30 days to form a cabinet and present it to parliament for approval.

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