Tuesday, September 27, 2022

EU expresses concern over violent protests in Iraq

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Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced his resignation from politics, which sparked clashes between his supporters and the police forces. Following this, European Union expressed worry about the ongoing demonstrations in Iraq and encouraged all sides to exhibit patience “to avert additional violence.”

According to media reports, EU called political forces to settle concerns through a constructive political discourse within the constitutional framework and asked all parties to maintain caution in a statement. Twenty people were killed in clashes with security forces after Muqtada al-Sadr declared on Monday that he was leaving politics. Thousands of his supporters besieged the Iraqi presidential palace.

Veteran Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani has also advised parties “not to resort to the language of guns and bloodshed in settling issues” and has called for caution.

The leader of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party and previous leader of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, Barzani, also urged all parties to “think about solutions that bring good to the Iraqi people and take into consideration the common interest of the people and the nation.”

As the turmoil continues, Turkey has encouraged its nationals to stay away from Baghdad and called for “inclusive discussion.”

Turkish foreign ministry issued a statement in which it stated that Turkey was worried about the events in amiable Iraq. It went on to say that it hoped for a peaceful, inclusive resolution to the current political disputes so that the security and welfare of the Iraqi people could be guaranteed.

Meanwhile, media reports stated that Muqtada al-Sadr had earlier declared he would go on a hunger strike unless the violence and weaponry among the protesters ceased.

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