ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – During a two-day visit to the Kurdistan Region, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq Ján Kubiš urged Kurdish leaders from different parties to unite to speed up the Iraqi government formation process.
The two-day visit comes ahead of the next Council of Representatives (CoR) session scheduled for Sept. 15 in Baghdad.
Iraqi parliamentary blocs are still in political gridlock, as negotiations over the formation of a new government following the May 12 national election continues.
The UN official spoke with the Kurdish leaders about the formation of the future government and the election of the three Presidencies. He also expressed his hopes that the CoR would elect the Speaker and the two deputies soon.
According to Kubiš, the development of a “balanced approach” for the benefit of the country and its people led discussions in the meetings.
The UN Special Representative urged political leaders and forces both at the federal level and in the Kurdistan Region to unite and “work together for a speedy establishment of a pro-reform, non-sectarian, patriotic national government.”
He also stressed the need for a government based on “partnership participation of all components and segments of Iraq, in full respect for and implementation of the Constitution.”
The UN representative added that he hopes the “Kurdistani political forces can foster agreement, consensus and unity,” and “that they will undertake their positive role, as in the past.”
During the two-day visit, Kubiš visited Sulaimani and Erbil where he met with leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Gorran, New Generation Movement, and the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ).
On Tuesday, he was received in Erbil by Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani and met separately with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
Iraq’s top Shia cleric on Monday called for a fresh face to head Baghdad for the next four years, pointing to the population’s disillusionment with politicians and their inability to properly steer the country.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s movement “does not support a [candidate for the role of] prime minister that is chosen from politicians that were in power in the past years,” a statement published on the cleric’s official website affirmed.
The UN Representative “reiterated his appreciation of the guidance provided by H.E. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and strong hope that the political forces will follow it in their actions.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany