Top Kurdish, Iraqi party officials hold gov't formation talks in Erbil, Baghdad
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil hosted several delegations from top Iraqi parties on Saturday as Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia parties hold intense rounds of talks on the formation of the incoming government.
Similarly, a Kurdish team led by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) was also in Baghdad for meetings with Iraqi parties, just a day ahead of the new parliament's first session.
In Erbil, KDP President Masoud Barzani received the leaders of the two largest Sunni political parties, the Progress Party of former parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi and the Azm Alliance of Khamis al-Khanjar.
Read More: Shiite Coordination Framework delegation arrives in Erbil for government formation talks
Barzani and the two Sunni leaders discussed the Iraqi political process, including the government formation and parliament's first session, Barzani's office said.
"Today, a candidate for the Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament will be selected by the political parties," KDP Politburo spokesperson Mahmud Mohammed told a press conference following the meeting on Saturday.
"The joint KDP-PUK delegation (currently in Baghdad) is given the decision-making power for this issue."
"The KDP-PUK discussions over nominating a Kurdish candidate for the position of Iraq's president is still ongoing," Mohammed noted. "We will have time for further discussions over nominating candidates for the positions of Iraq's President and Prime Minister after parliament's first session on Sunday."
The KDP official added that Sunni parties have agreed on a candidate for parliament speaker and added that they would announce it soon.
Meanwhile, in Baghdad, the joint KDP-PUK delegation met with senior Shia political leaders, including Nouri al-Maliki, Hadi al-Amiri, and the Sadrist Movement's negotiating team.
Read More: Joint KDP, PUK delegation visits Baghdad amid government formation talks
The Sadrist Bloc Negotiating Committee led by Hassan al-Athari met with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) officials in Erbil last week to discuss the formation of the next Iraqi government.
The Sadrist and KDP delegations discussed several files of mutual interest, with the former affirming the need to start a new stage of serious work to serve all Iraqis, per a statement by the Sadrist delegation.
Read More: Sadrist delegation meets KDP officials in Erbil amid government formation talks
The former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, leading the political alliance known as the Shiite Coordination Framework has also visited Erbil in December and held talks with KDP leaders on government formation.