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Abdul-Mahdi looks to circumvent party feuding to overcome government stasis

Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s 17-18 April visit to Riyadh was another step towards repositioning Iraq in the region, as Baghdad seeks to balance its close relations with Iran with its Gulf Co-operation Council neighbours and the United States. A more proactive regional policy is a positive counterpoint to government stasis in domestic policy as Abdul-Mahdi has been unable to complete his cabinet. With the two main groupings, Hadi Al-Amiri’s Bina (Construction) Bloc and Ammar Al-Hakim’s Islah (Reform and Construction) Bloc, have been unable to reach a consensus, four key ministerial posts remain vacant.

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