Saudi Arabia urges Iraq’s political parties to peacefully address people’s demands

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Saudi Arabia urged all political parties in Iraq to resort to peaceful solutions to address the demands of the Iraqi people after clashes in Baghdad killed at least 23 people, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

“The Kingdom calls on all political parties in Iraq to stand [united] to protect the country and its people… and it supports all efforts that aim to spare the country of internal conflict,” SPA reported citing a statement by the foreign ministry.

It also said that the Kingdom was following up on recent developments in Iraq “with great concern,” and voiced its regret over the recent clashes that killed and injured dozens.

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Tensions have soared in Iraq amid a political crisis that has left the country without a new government, prime minister or president for months.

They escalated sharply after Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s supporters on Monday afternoon stormed the government palace inside the Green Zone following their leader’s announcement that he was quitting politics.

Overnight Monday and on Tuesday morning, clashes raged between al-Sadr’s supporters and the army and men of the Hashed al-Shaabi, former Tehran-backed paramilitaries integrated into the Iraqi forces.

Al-Sadr’s supporters, however, started to withdraw from Baghdad’s Green Zone later on Tuesday after al-Sadr urged them to end the protest.

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