Iraqi President names Mustafa al-Kazemi to form transitional government

BAGHDAD – In the presence of Iraqi President Barham Salih, the Speaker of Iraqi Parliament Mohamed al-Halbousi, and Head of the Supreme Judicial Council Faeq Zeidan, a ceremony was held to assign the head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Mustafa al-Kazemi to form the next government at the Peace Palace in Baghdad.

Mustafa al-Kazemi was born in Baghdad in 1967 and holds a BA in law. During his opposition to the Saddam Hussein regime, he had moved between several European countries before he was made head of the National Intelligence Service in 2016 by former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Al-Kazimi’s mandate comes after the head of the interim government, Adnan al-Zurfi, announced his official apology for failing to form a government sooner.

In his statement, al-Zurfi said that he was moving forward with his “sacred fundamental goal” of saving Iraq. “In the past weeks, I have established a true beginning of an Iraqi policy based on productive and fruitful economic partnerships with countries of the world,” said al-Zurfi. “Also based on organizing the work of the international coalition forces, scheduling their withdrawal and building the capabilities of the armed forces.”

“My apologies for keeping the formation of the government were due to preserving the unity and supreme interests of Iraq,” he concluded.