EPC | 06 Oct 2020
While the US announced, after the return of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi from Washington in August 2020, that it would reduce the size of its forces in Iraq by a third, to keep 3,500 personnel whom President Donald Trump promised to withdraw gradually over the next three years, this announcement did not stop the armed Shiite factions from continuing their missile attacks on the sites of the US forces, especially the area of the US Embassy in Baghdad and the vicinity of the airport. This prompted Washington to threaten to close its diplomatic mission in Baghdad and to respond to those launching the attacks, which would bring political and economic losses to Iraq.
Coinciding with the passage of hundred days since the formation of Mustafa al-Kadhimi's government, a period that is usually viewed as a probation period, the relationship between Kadhimi and a number of political blocs, particularly the Shiites, has been characterised by an overt escalation. This came about against the backdop of Kadhimi’s issuance, on 14 September 2020, of a list of appointments to senior positions in ministries and independent bodies, which was considered by some blocs as an "establishment of political quotas", while other blocs objected to it because it "falls outside the powers" of the Prime Minister.
EPC | 30 Sep 2020
While the Shiite actors are working to hinder, through parliamentary procedures, the holding of the early legislative elections at the date set by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in June 2021, they are taking parallel steps to prepare for the next elections, should they be held.
EPC | 28 Sep 2020
The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Baghdad on 2 September 2020 was his first since he assumed office in 2017, but was the third for the top leaders of the French government since Mustafa al-Kadhimi took over as prime minister of Iraq, after the visits by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in July 2020 and French Minister of the armies (Defence Minister) Florence Parly at the end of August 2020. It was also the first visit by a senior foreign official to Baghdad since Kadhimi took office in May 2020. Those visits carried many indications and agreements that focused on the future of the war on terror and the development of economic relations between the two countries.
EPC | 09 Sep 2020
Iraq seeks to build economic and political cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, a project that has been obstructed several times over the past few years. The tripartite summit, which was held on 25 August 2020 between Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and King Abdullah of Jordan, comes within this endeavour, which also comes in light of a geopolitical situation that includes challenges for those countries and for the entire Arab region.
EPC | 12 Aug 2020
Popular protests continue to constitute one of the challenges facing Mustafa al-Kadhimi's government in Iraq. Although the protests had stopped in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they have been resumed on a limited scale since May 2020 to pressure Kadhimi to fulfill his pledges. They are expected to return to their previous effectiveness due to the escalation of the economic and financial crisis, and the continued deterioration of the health and services situation, especially the electric power amidst the hot summer season.
Firas Elias | 10 Jun 2020
The call by the US Secretary of State Mark Pompeo in April 2020 to hold a constructive strategic dialogue with Iraq in June 2020 with the aim of discussing the future of the US presence in Iraq has revived talk about the future of Iran in that country, especially that the Iranian file will be one of the main files of the strategic dialogue between Washington and Baghdad.
EPC | 30 May 2020
On 22 April 2020, former Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi signed a decision to dissociate the Holy Shrines factions from the Popular Mobilization Commission (PMC, al-Hashed al-Shaabi) and link them administratively and operationally to the Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces, that is the Prime Minister himself. With this decision, the conflict between the pro-Iran so-called “loyalist” factions and the factions associated with the religious authority in Najaf would have reached an important stage that could lead to rifts in the PMC.