Head of the KDP, President Masoud Barzani and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Composite photo: Rudaw via AFP/AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — As the formation of a new Iraqi government approaches, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to President Barzani on the phone on Wednesday.
The two stressed the continuation of bilateral relations and consultations, the formation of Iraq’s new government, and valued Barzani’s role in Iraqi political process, according to a readout from KDP head Barzani's office.
“In the telephone conversation, the political situation in Iraq was discussed. The US Secretary of State commended and valued the role played by President Masoud Barzani in the Iraqi political process following parliamentary elections,” it added.
According to the statement, they have also discussed the latest political developments and negotiations among parties on the formation of a new government in Iraq.
The US State Department on Thursday released a readout of the call, underlining that the formation of the new Iraqi government should occur within the legal timeline and the new government should serve all communities in Iraq.
"He stressed that formation of a new Iraqi government is an Iraqi process that should proceed according to Iraq's constitutional timeline and reflect the will of Iraqi voters," read the statement.
A joint high-level KDP and PUK delegation is expected to visit political leaders in Baghdad on Saturday.
"He emphasized that the United States hopes to see a strong government that includes all communities and serves all of the Iraqi people," the statement from Pompeo's office added.
The new Iraqi parliament shall convene by September 3 and in its first session select a new Speaker and two deputies.
Following the federal court's ratification of a partial manual recount of ballots across the country, steps toward government formation have sped.
The KDP and the PUK want to go to Baghdad together with the other Kurdistani parties who have been in opposition.
The KDP met with Kurdistan Islamic Union leadership on Wednesday, and Komal met with the PUK.
Two distinct blocs have emerged among leading Shiite lists in Baghdad. One seemingly closer to Iran's interests, and the other is seen closer to US interests.
If united, the seats held by a Kurdistani bloc would be enough to give either group an absolute majority in the new ruling government.
Updated at 10:42 p.m., August 30, 2018