US, UN urge dialogue in Iraq amid unrest

US, UN urge dialogue in Iraq amid unrest

Supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr storm Republican Palace, seat of government

BAGHDAD (AA) – The US and the UN urged rival groups in Iraq to pursue dialogue to resolve differences amid protests by supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

"The United States is concerned about escalating tensions and urges all parties to remain peaceful and refrain from acts that could lead to a cycle of violence,” the US Embassy in Baghdad said in a statement.

The embassy called on Iraqi rivals to resolve their differences by dialogue "not through confrontation."

The UN mission to Iraq (UNAMI) also called on Iraqi protesters to leave government buildings to allow them to continue their "responsibilities of running the State in service of the Iraqi people."

UNAMI also urged Iraqi rivals to "work towards de-escalating tensions and resort to dialogue" to solve their differences.

On Monday, supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stormed the Republican Palace, the seat of the government, shortly after al-Sadr said he was quitting politics for good.
The palace is in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government agencies and several foreign diplomatic missions.

Iraqi authorities declared a nationwide curfew in an attempt to quell the unrest.

Iraqi parties have been unable to form a new government since the last elections on Oct. 10, 2021.

Ahmed Asmar contributed to this story from Ankara

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