In a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest ranking Shia religious leader in Iraq, told the Iranian head of state that he welcomes steps to strengthening Iraq’s relations with its neighbours if they are based on respect of sovereignty to no domestic interference.
Parties and coalitions in Iraq have started negotiating with one another in order to reach a majority in the upcoming parliament. Parties with less seats must make concessions so that they are included in the forming of the new government.
Iraq's parliamentary elections set for May 12 will indirectly decide on a new prime minister and president. This is the fourth parliamentary elections since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the first since the liberation from ISIS.