Iraqi President Barham Salih announced yesterday that Intelligence Chief Mustafa Al-Kazemi be tasked with forming a new government, in the third attempt to replace Adel Abdul-Mahdi and get the country out of a political recession deepened by signs of an economic crisis.
Saleh said in a republican decree that “due to the apology of the commissioner, Mr. Adnan Al-Zarfi,” Mr. Mustafa Al-Kazimi was assigned to form the government. In a statement, Al-Zorfi announced that he apologized for “internal and external reasons,” affirming his readiness for the upcoming early elections.
The Iraqi president stressed keenness on forming a government based on the Iraqi national decision and committed to the reform and preparation program for fair and honest elections, managing the health crisis and the repercussions of the financial crisis, and preserving the sovereignty of Iraq.
Saleh said, during the ceremony of assigning Mustafa Al-Kazemi: «We have wasted a long period to form the new government and today we are witnessing the assignment of Mustafa Al-Kazemi to form the government after the apology of the previous commissioner Adnan Al-Zarfi, who sent an official letter of apology and we appreciate his position. He added, “Al-Kazemi is an educated person with integrity, moderation, and diligence, and in front of him is a great responsibility after we witnessed a period of intense debates between the political forces that agreed to choose him, and we passed a stage that was difficult.” After that, Saleh submitted Al-Kazemi the text of the republican decree that mandates him to form the new government within a maximum period of 30 days, starting yesterday.
In his response to the Iraqi president’s speech, Al-Kazemi said: “I am honored by this mandate and we will work on the level of responsibility before the people and history, and I thank the political blocs for unifying their speech.” “I will work to form a government that senses the aspirations and priorities of Iraqis,” Al-Kazimi said. He added: «With my assignment to the task of heading the Iraqi government, I pledge before my honorable people to work to form a government that puts the aspirations and demands of the Iraqis at the top of its priorities and safeguards the sovereignty of the country and preserves rights. He stressed that the new government will work to “solve crises and push the economy forward.”
A senior political source said in a statement to «AFP» that the naming of Al-Kazemi «comes as a benefit to Iraq, especially in this difficult economic phase». A guide to compatibility was the attendance of Shiite hawks at the al-Kadhimi commissioning ceremony in the Peace Palace in central Baghdad: the leader of the Badr Hadi al-Amiri organization, the head of the Popular Mobilization Committee, Faleh al-Fayyad, the former prime minister Haider al-Abadi, and the Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim. Also present was Speaker of Parliament Muhammad Al-Halbousi, and the United Nations Representative in Iraq, Jenin Hennes-Blackshart.
So, it appears that there is a regional consensus on Al-Kazemi, who now has three pillars of power in Iraq.
The first of these pillars is a strong relationship with the United States, which it strengthened in cooperation during the stage of the fight against ISIS, leading to the elimination of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The second is to breathe life and renew the line of communication with Iran, which invested this by placing its confidence in Al-Kazemi as a figure capable of defusing the crisis in the country.
The third pillar is more than a good relationship with the Saudi neighbor.
Al-Kazemi became the third attempt to form a new government since the beginning of the year 2020, after al-Zarfi’s apology, and Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi accepted it.
Al-Kazemi has now until May 9th, to present his cabinet.
But a source close to the decision circle pointed out that this stage “passed”, indicating that “the government and its program will be ready within three weeks, and the axis is now in the stage of talking about the government’s role in the future of Iraq.” But this does not mean that the challenges faced by his predecessors will not continue.
Al-Zorfi said, in a press conference yesterday: “I will leave the experience of commissioning while I am comfortable with conscience and self, because I am the one who worked with me, and we have worked hard and with the support of some political forces and good people to move our country to safety, stability and prosperity.” He explained that «the lack of success of the commissioning experience is due to internal and external reasons that will not prevent me from continuing to serve the people through my current parliamentary position».
Al-Kazemi in brief
Mustafa Al-Kazemi, born in Baghdad in 1967, holds a BA in Law. He had moved in several European countries during his opposition to the Saddam Hussein regime, before he took over the intelligence service in 2016 during the period of former Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, possessing a political asylum passport, being opposed to the previous regime. Al-Kazemi is Mustafa Abd al-Latif, and the name al-Kazemi belongs to the al-Kazimiya area in Baghdad, where he was born in 1967. Abdel-Latif was a representative of the National Democratic Party and left Iraq in 1985 through Iraqi Kurdistan to Iran, then Germany and then Britain. He chose the title of Al-Kazemi during his work as a journalist.
He was the editor-in-chief of the “Weekly” magazine, where he emerged in the field of conflict resolution and documentation of the crimes of the former regime, worked as an executive director of the Iraqi Memory Foundation and contributed to documenting testimonies and collecting films on victims of the former regime, and managed the Humanitarian Dialogue Foundation to establish dialogue as an alternative.
A security operation in western Anbar to pursue ISIS remnants
The Anbar Operations Command has embarked on a broad security operation west of the Iraqi governorate, to pursue the remnants of the ISIS terrorist gangs. A security media cell statement said that, under the supervision of the Joint Operations Command, the Anbar Operations Command began yesterday, with a broad security operation of twenty axes in the areas of the south of the international highway south of the Trebil road: Seljaiya, Karma Island, Thamel Valley, Wadi Qaddaf. The First Infantry Division, the Tenth Infantry Division, the Popular Mobilization Command of the Anbar Axis, the Commanding Brigade of the Anbar Operations Command, the Anbar Emergency Brigade Directorate, the Anbar Tribal Mobilization Brigades, the security agencies operating in Anbar, the treatment detachments and with the support of the Army’s aircraft. ” The security operation aims to prosecute the remnants of the ISIS terrorist gangs, arrest the wanted people, and check all families living in these areas to enhance security and stability in them.
Abdul Mahdi: Foreign forces withdrew from 6 bases
The head of the caretaker government in Iraq, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, revealed the presence of foreign forces in 3 military bases in the country, after their withdrawal from 6 locations during the past weeks. During a speech to him at a meeting of the National Security Council broadcast on state television, Abdel Mahdi said: «During the last period, a large withdrawal of foreign forces from their bases took place, and today only 3 military bases remain in which foreign forces are present.