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A Christian MP in Iraq’s New Government

AP
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Jajo, of a Chaldean family from the area of Alqosh, is minister of science and technology

A Christian member of parliament is among the ministers in a new government of Iraq approved this week by Parliament with a majority of 177 out of 289.

The new minister is Faris Yusef Jajo, from a Chaldean Christian family from the area of Alqosh.

Originally elected on the Communist list, Jajo has been entrusted with the ministry of Science and Technology. The new Parliament team, headed by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi (pictured, with US Secretary of State John Kerry), has 23 ministers and three vice-premiers. Due to lack of consensus among the groups, two key positions, Interior Minister and Defence Minister have yet to be designated. 

The government team intends to present itself as a satisfactory response to pressures operated by the different actors in the international community urging Baghdad political leaders to make a change of route towards a more inclusive approach, in order to counter sectarian pushes in the country and reach unity of intent in the struggle against jihadist militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate. Al-Abadi, a Shiite, promises stronger relations with the autonomous region of Kurdistan, reform in a semi-federal key and the reconstitution of the Armed Forces. In the distribution of government duties, a sizeable slice of ministries went to representatives of the Shiite parties closest to the premier, who also have the foreign ministry. Non religious and Sunni representatives have been entrusted with seven ministries, and a Kurd will head the ministry of Finance.

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