UAE welcomes new Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Al Kadhimi

He has a month to form a new government

Iraq's designated prime minister Mustafa Al-Khadimi delivers his first televised speech after his nomination ceremony, in Baghdad, Iraq April 9, 2020, in this still image taken from video. Iraqiya TV/Reuters TV via REUTERS IRAQ OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN IRAQ
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The UAE on Monday welcomed the appointment of new Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Al Kadhimi.

Mr Al Kadhimi was appointment by President Barham Salih on Thursday to form a new government, making him the third nominee to lead the country in 10 weeks.

“The UAE is following with interest the developments in Iraq, as well as the challenges that the country is facing, which require a genuine consensus that works towards achieving national sovereignty and political stability while addressing economic and social challenges,” the foreign ministry said.

The ministry expressed the hope this development will “realise the aspirations of the Iraqi people for security, stability, and continued development”.

It also wished Mr Al Kadhimi “succeed in his duties and for political and popular forces to unite in ensuring a better future for Iraq and the Iraqi people”.

Iraq and the UAE maintain strong relations especially as Baghdad finds itself caught in the crossfire between Washington and Tehran.

During a trip to Abu Dhabi, Mr Salih said that one of his aims was to improve ties with Iraq’s neighbouring states and avoid being drawn into regional conflicts.

Since his appointment last Thursday, Mr Al Kadhimi has 30 days to form a new cabinet and present it to parliament for approval.

The Iraqi official insisted that his cabinet will be equipped with competent ministers who “will put the public’s interest first”.

Mr Al Kadhimi has kept a low profile since taking office at the National Intelligence Service in June 2016 and is known to have good relations with the US and regional powers.

Born in Baghdad in 1967, he has a law degree and has published several books, including Humanitarian Concerns, which was selected in 2000 by the EU as the best book written by a political refugee.

He worked as reporter and, until 2016, wrote widely on the reforms needed in Iraq.

Mr Al Kadhimi's nomination follows two other candidates tipped by Mr Salih to take over the prime minister's post from Adel Abdul Mahdi, who resigned in November.

The first candidate, former telecommunications minister Mohammed Allawi, withdrew his candidacy on March 1 after parliament refused to approve his cabinet.

The second was Adnan Al Zurfi, who withdrew his candidacy on Thursday morning.