Photo compilation: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) (Reuters) and Iraqi President Barham Salih (R) (Presidency)
CAIRO – 22 May 2020: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Friday received a phone call from his Iraqi counterpart, Barham Salih, to extend Eid Al-Fitr greetings, the Egyptian Presidency said in a statement.
Eid Al-Fitr is an Islamic feast where Muslims usually gather to celebrate and mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. However, this year, all celebrations are set to be limited due to the global coronavirus crisis.
Salih wished the Egyptian government and people progress and prosperity, during his phone call with Sisi, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi said.
Sisi expressed his sincere appreciation for Salih’s gesture and wished Iraq security and stability, Radi added.
The presidents also discussed bilateral relations between Egypt and Iraq, where they have agreed to activate the mechanisms of bilateral cooperation and boost the efforts of their joint committee, especially in the economic, medical and security fields.
Earlier in May, Sisi congratulated Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mustafa Al- Kadhimi for gaining the parliament’s trust and forming his new government.
During a phone call, Sisi stressed Egypt's keen and support for Iraq’s security and stability. He also affirmed the close and historical ties that link Egypt and Iraq.
For his part, the Iraqi Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for Sisi’s call, praising the depth and strength of the strategic relations between the two countries.
Kadhimi stressed his keenness to enhance the frameworks of bilateral joint cooperation in various fields between the two countries, Radi noted.
On May 7, The Egyptian Foreign Ministry welcomed the formation of the Iraqi Cabinet led by Kadhimi, wishing him success in meeting people’s aspiration.
The Iraqi Parliament granted confidence to the Cabinet of Kadhimi after it approved most of his ministerial candidates. Subsequently, he took oath as the new prime minister, to succeed Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, who resigned in the wake of public protests.
In a statement, the ministry wished Kadhimi success in leading the government and achieving people’s aspiration for stability and prosperity.
It also affirmed Egypt’s willingness to work on supporting the Iraqi government to achieve its goals and its keenness to enhance Egyptian-Iraqi cooperation through refreshing bilateral relations in the economic field.
The vote of confidence session was attended by 255 out of 329 parliament members, according to media reports. The Parliament approved 15 ministers, while adjourned vote on the candidates for oil and foreign ministries.
Anti-regime protests in Iraq, which started in October, have resulted in the death of hundreds of Iraqis and forced Abd al-Mahdi to resign.
Iraq’s President Barham Salih then appointed Mohammed Allawi, a former communications minister, and Adnan Al-Zurfi, the head of the country’s intelligence consecutively as prime ministers, but both failed to secure the required support among political blocs inside the parliament.
Taking oath, Kadhimi becomes the first prime minister to form the government in Iraq after Abd Al-Mahdi. However, his incomplete Cabinet will require him to find new candidates for the vacant posts and seek a compromise with political blocs, amid an unprecedented economic crisis caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus.