Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met with Envoy Brett McGurk this week to discuss the obligation for “more serious dialogue”  in regards to the new Iraqi government being formed by the freshly elected parliament members. Both men understood and were adamant about “the need for more serious dialogue among political parties for the formation of a government, the effective role of the Kurdistan Region in this regard, and a strong presence of Kurdistani parties in Baghdad,” according to a statement released after the meeting by the KRG. Brett McGurk is the United States Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; he has been a key political figure for the U.S.’s diplomacy efforts throughout the Middle East.

Iraq’s parliamentary elections took place in May, and while the results have yet to be finalized, Muqtada al-Sadr appears to be in the lead despite a physical recount in the autonomous Kurdistan region. Various political parties throughout Iraq have spent the time forming key alliances to shape the new government, working to prepare new legislation on many levels. The discussions have come to a standstill though as the many political groups are preparing for the final verdict. Shiite authority Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has even begun applying pressure to form a new system of government promptly and directly as the nation is overrun by protests. The nation-wide protesting is in demand for potable water on tap, more employment opportunities, and an updated electrical grid as well as other updates to the national infrastructure.

Envoy Brett McGurk visited Baghdad as well and met with the current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the two discussed “economic reforms supported by our Strategic Framework Agreement,” according to McGurk. Prime Minister Abadi has already begun making promises to maintain his position in office. He claims that he is frustrated with the present political system that governs Iraq and has been complaining about the ruling class as corrupt men who do not share the common man’s concerns. He has also claimed to be preparing to begin executing large-scale reforms by funding massive infrastructure overhauls. Abadi is becoming desperate as he watches the nation he is going to be held responsible for crumble around him despite the “defeat” of the Islamic State.

Featured image: Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Brett H. McGurk, delivers remarks alongside Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Australian Army Col. David Kelly, an exchange officer on assignment to the Joint Staff, during a press conference following the 2017 Chiefs of Defense Conference at Fort Belvoir, Va., Oct. 24, 2017. The conference brought together defense chiefs from more than 70 nations to focus on countering violent-extremist organizations around the globe. | DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro

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