The US secretary of state welcomed Iraq’s new government in a phone call with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, saying a “bold agenda” awaits him.
Mike Pompeo called al-Kadhimi in order to discuss “the urgent hard work” ahead of the Iraqi government, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said late Wednesday in a statement.
“Secretary Pompeo welcomed Prime Minister Kadhimi’s new government, which was confirmed by the Council of Representatives,” she said. “They discussed the urgent hard work ahead for the Iraqi government, implementing reforms, addressing COVID-19, and fighting corruption.”
In support of the new government the US will move forward with a 120-day electricity waiver as a “display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success,” she added.
Pompeo and al-Kadhimi further discussed the upcoming US-Iraq strategic dialogue to provide the Iraqi people the prosperity and security.
“Great to speak today with new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Now comes the urgent, hard work of implementing the reforms demanded by the Iraqi people,” Pompe also said on Twitter.
“I pledged to help him deliver on his bold agenda for the sake of the Iraqi people,” he added.
Iraq’s parliament gave a vote of confidence to the new Prime Minister al-Kadhimi and his partial Cabinet in the wee hours Thursday, to succeed the resigned government headed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi.
Al-Kadhimi managed to form a new government after two former prime ministers-designate, Mohammad Allawi and Adnan Al-Zurfi, failed to garner support.
Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to resign.
At least 496 Iraqis have been killed and 17,000 have been injured since the protests began on Oct. 1, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.
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