Iraq – National Dialogue resumes without Sadarist participation
Location: Baghdad – Iraq
Source: A24 in Baghdad
Restrictions: A24 subscribers
Date: 05/09/ 2022
Iraq’s acting Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi convened the second National Dialogue session Monday, with senior Iraqi leaders and representatives of most of the country’s political parties.
While the UN envoy to Iraq, Jeanine Plasschaert, participated as a dialogue observer, the absence of representatives from the Sadrist block – winners of the most seats in the last election- raised concerns about the prospect of a breakthrough.
The session aimed to find a pathway towards formulating a government – a goal they have been unable to achieve since last October’s parliamentary elections.
The dialogue focused on emphasizing the need for all stakeholders to bear responsibility for maintaining stability, protecting the country from crisis, supporting pacification efforts, preventing escalation and violence, and embracing a national dialogue.
Participants proposed six recommendations to break the impasse, including forming a technical team to establish a mechanism for scheduling new elections.
Soundbite (Ahmed Khader – Political analyst):
“All scenarios presented are feasible as long as the crisis is not defused. All meetings are currently taking place amid Al-Sadr’s boycott and abstinence from participation, which means the absence of a major and active party. I believe any results these meetings produce will be inconclusive unless an actual Sadrist is present or there is at least contact among participating parties. I do not believe there is open dialogue between the Sadrist movement and the Coordination Framework. The problem will persist unless conflicting parties make concessions.”
Soundbite (Ali Abed Sahib – Political analyst):
“There will only be two solutions after these initiatives lead to nothing, given that they are repetitive, especially since the Sadrist movement has not agreed yet to a dialogue session. The first relates to religious authority, as both parties belong to political Islam; they respect and follow the religious authority of Ali al-Sistani. The second relates to the United Nations, which will guarantee political process since Iraq is still obligated to adhere to Chapter VII of the UN charter. I see that these two solutions are the expected courses of action in the next stage. Dialogue sessions that the government calls for will be ineffective, since the main party, the Sadrist movement, will not participate. Any future sessions will be like the past ones; nothing more than a formality of sitting at one table, for solutions that will only be temporary, with no actual benefit.”