30 Aug 2022 14:42

Moscow urges all Iraqi sides to act responsibly, avoid violence amid Baghdad protests - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Aug 30 (Interfax) - Moscow urges all Iraqi sides to resolve internal disagreements consistent with the law, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a commentary published on the ministry website on Tuesday.

"We are urging all Iraqi sides to act responsibly and avoid violence," Zakharova said.

In the opinion of Moscow, "all pressing items on the national agenda should be addressed by the Iraqis themselves, exclusively on the basis of law, and with due account of the legitimate interests of all ethno-confessional groups of the national population," she said.

"The ongoing events are a consequence of the remaining contradictions between the major political forces of Iraq regarding the formation of the national authorities after the early parliamentary elections of October 2021," Zakharova said.

The Mehr news agency said on Tuesday that 30 people had been killed in protests and unrest in Baghdad sparked by the withdrawal of influential Shia theologian Muqtada al-Sadr from politics.

About 700 people, including 110 security officers, have been hurt, Mehr said.

The protests broke out on Monday, after al-Sadr said he was quitting politics. Hundreds of people broke into the Republican Palace, the main venue for meetings between Iraqi politicians and foreign colleagues. Then a curfew was enacted in Iraq but the protests continued in the capital and a number of Iraqi regions.