Iraq parliamentary session addresses crisis, political challenge in Basra

Prime Minister Haidar Abadi and other ministers attend an extraordinary meeting of the Iraqi Council of Representatives held on Saturday. (Supplied)

The Iraqi Council of Representatives held on Saturday an extraordinary meeting aimed at resolving the crisis in the province of Basra, in the presence of Prime Minister Haidar Abadi and other ministers and officials concerned.

Abadi said during the meeting: “We are facing a political challenge partly to achieve the demands of the people of Basra," noting that the political side must be isolated from the security and service.”

Abadi warned in his speech to the House of Representatives that the shift of political dispute to armed confrontations may cause a breakdown of the situation in all of Iraq, noting that the destruction in Basra is a political failure.

He added that Basra province was excluded from some paragraphs of the budget and government decisions to implement public services and maintain security in the province, expressing the hope that these decisions contribute to a quick solution to the outstanding problems that have been accumulated from previous governments, and which caused the escalation of the situation in the province to this stage.

For his part, Iraqi Interior Minister Qassim al-Araji said during the parliamentary session that orders have been issued to hold people accountable for the excesses on the demonstrators and the abuse of public and private property.

Araji added that he would reshuffle those at the helm of security whose duty was to protect embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions.

Iraqi Defense Minister Irfan al-Hayali said during the special session that the armed forces were not authorized to shoot any citizen.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53