Newly elected Iraqi President calls for political dialogue

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Newly elected Iraqi President Latif Rashid sent out a message to the political parties on Saturday, calling to launch political dialogue.

Iraq’s parliament on Thursday elected Kurdish politician Abdul Latif Rashid as president, ending a year of deadlock after a national election in October last year.

“I consider myself abided to call for political dialogue in which nobody will be asked to make a compromise on their goals and demands,” President Rashid said.

The President underscored that he has seen dozens of Presidents, ministers, and parties that have passed but then “vanished”. “Therefore the positions have no value, what will ultimately remain is good and constructive as well as just work in governing,” he said.

“For that reason I demand an open dialogue, aiming at stopping further tensions,” President Rashid stressed.

Iraq’s 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.

The United States welcomed Rashid’s election. His election was the fourth attempt by the Iraqi parliament since October last year.

“Today, after more than a year of government formation negotiations, the United States welcomes the Iraqi Council of Representative’s election of Abdul Latif Rashid as the President of Iraq. President Rashid named Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as the Prime Minister-designate,” the U.S. State Department said on Thursday in a statement.

“As Iraq’s political leaders form a new government, we encourage them to bear in mind the will of the Iraqi people, who voted for a government responsive to their needs. The United States urges all parties to refrain from violence and to resolve differences amicably and peacefully through the political process”, it added.



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