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Political crisis undermining security achievements: Iraq PM

BAGHDAD (AP) – Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi warned on Saturday that the political crisis in the country is threatening security achievements made in past years.

Al-Kadhimi’s warning is a clear indication of the dangers of one of Iraq’s worst political crises since the 2003 United States-led invasion of Iraq.

It is the result of disagreements between followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and rival Iran-backed groups since last year’s Parliamentary elections.

Al-Sadr won the largest share of seats in the October elections but failed to form a majority government, leading to what has become one of the worst political crises in Iraq in recent years. His bloc later resigned from Parliament and his supporters last month stormed the Parliament building in Baghdad.

Al-Sadr has demanded that Parliament be dissolved and early elections held.

“This political crisis threatens the security achievements and the nation’s stability,” al-Kadhimi said.

“Now, the solution is for all political parties to make concessions for the interests of Iraq and Iraqis.”

Last week, al-Kadhimi called for a meeting of senior political leaders and party representatives to find a solution.

He warned that if “fighting erupts, the shootings will not stop and will remain for years”.

Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr with his poster gather near the Parliament building in Baghdad, Iraq. PHOTO: AP