Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi says his country would never allow outsiders to use the Arab country’s territory for any act of aggression against others.
Kadhimi made the remarks while addressing a parliamentary session on Wednesday, when lawmakers approved his government and ended months of political deadlock.
Kadhimi promised to organize early and healthy elections and form a transitional government that takes the country out of the crisis and toward stability.
Prior to the vote, he said, national sovereignty must be exercised in accordance with the constitution in all aspects of the country.
He underlined the necessity to bring all armed groups and militias under control of the prime minster as the commander in chief of the armed forces, and prevent Iraq from being a battleground between regional and international forces.
He also stressed the unity of the country and voiced his readiness to work with all political parties to overcome the crisis, calling his government “a solution government, not crisis government.”
Kadhimi emphasized the sensitivity of the moment when Iraq is facing great economic, security and health challenges and said he would work to resolve the issues.
Solving the ongoing disputes between the Baghdad government and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government was also among the issues he raised in his speech.
“It is a difficult stage. The challenges that Iraq faces are great … but they are not greater than our ability to address them,” he said.
“This government came in response to a social, economic and political crisis to be a solution government, not a crisis government,” he added.
Pointing to protesters’ demands, he promised to fulfill them and protect freedom of expression and the right to protest.
In their Wednesday session, the Iraqi lawmakers approved Kadhimi’s government, ending months of deadlock and a political crisis that hit the country’s stability and economy.
The MPs gave votes of confidence to Kadhimi’s picks for the ministries of interior, defense, finance, and electricity, among others.
However, several ministerial candidates failed to get the lawmakers’ approval, meaning Kadhimi will begin his term without a full government.
The parliamentarians rejected the incoming premier’s picks for justice, agriculture and trade ministries.
They also postponed voting on the oil and foreign ministries as political parties failed to agree on candidates.
On April 9, Iraqi President Barham Saleh officially tasked Kadhimi with forming a government after the 53-year-old director of the country’s National Intelligence Service received the endorsement of the majority of the top political figures.
In a tweet on Thursday, Salih congratulated Kadhimi on the formation of his new government and reiterated support for the prime minister in carrying out his “great missions.”
“We went through a difficult stage in the history of the country,” he tweeted.
The Iraqi president said Kadhimi’s cabinet needs to be completed immediately to help deal with the country’s health, security and economic challenges.
He further underlined the necessity for carrying out legal reforms and holding healthy elections.
Kadhimi will replace caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who stepped down last November following demonstrations against corruption, staggering youth unemployment and poor public services, which erupted in the capital Baghdad and then quickly spread to other cities.