Iran-backed political forces in
Iraq are preparing to launch mass demonstrations in Basra to pressure the new
prime minister, Adil Abdul Mahdi, to choose their candidates for the key
Abdul Mahdi, who was sworn in as prime minister alongside 14 ministers last week, failed to win the required parliamentary support for his full cabinet. Eight out of 22 ministries, including interior and defense, are still unnamed.
The Iraqi parliament has given Abdul Mahdi until Tuesday to change his candidates or persuade the opposition parliamentary blocs to ratify them.
Abdel Mahdi received on Thursday cables from Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to greet him on forming the new cabinet.
In his cable, the Russian president asserted his country's keenness on promoting relations between the two friendly countries and continuing its support of Iraq, a statement by the prime minister's office said.
Putin as well confirmed that Moscow is keen to continue joint cooperation with Baghdad to serve the interests of both countries.
For her part, Merkel stressed that Germany continues its close partnership with Iraq, affirming Berlin's readiness to offer further support to Baghdad in the coming period.