Iraqi cleric Sadr, Canadian ambassador discuss latest developments in Iraq

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Canadian Ambassador to Iraq Andrew Turner

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr met on Sunday with Canadian Ambassador to Iraq Andrew Turner at his residence in al-Hannanah area in Najaf to discuss the latest developments in Iraq.

“The meeting probed the political process in Iraq and the outcome of the May 12 parliamentary elections,” Alghad Press quoted Sadr’s media office as saying in a statement.

“The two sides stressed the need for forming the new government as soon as possible to provide basic services and decent life conditions for the Iraqi people,” the statement read.

The Canadian ambassador, according to the statement, praised “patriotic and humanitarian stances adopted by al-Sadr.”

Al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats in the May 12 parliamentary polls, followed by an al-Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s Victory bloc (42 seats), according to the election commission.

The vote results, however, have aroused widespread fraud allegations.

Al-Sadr’s coalition did not win the majority needed to form a government alone but will play a primary role in selecting the next prime minister.

Al-Sadr said he hoped to establish a “technocrat” cabinet far removed from narrow sectarian biases.

Known for his hostile approach to the U.S., al-Sadr is one of few Shia leaders who don’t have close ties with Iran.

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