Iraq's Abadi pledges 'strong' government after meeting with Sadr
"During our meeting, we agreed to work together and with other parties to expedite the process of forming a new Iraqi government," Abadi said at a joint press conference late on Saturday.
"It will be a strong government, capable of providing to its citizens services, security and economic prosperity."
Nationalist Shia cleric Sadr, who led an uprising against US troops after the 2003 invasion, secured a surprise win in last week's first parliamentary election since Iraq defeated the Islamic State group.
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His Sairoon bloc won 54 seats, 12 more than Abadi's Victory Alliance list. However, while Sadr will have a stong say in negotiations to form the next government, he cannot become prime minister because he did not run in the election.
"Our door is open to anyone as long as they want to build the nation, and that it be an Iraqi decision," Sadr said.
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Sadr will oversee the formation of a cross-sectarian, technocrat government from some dozen parties. A government should be formed within three months of the official result, but negotiations could drag on for months.
In recent days, Sadr also met with Ammar al-Hakim, whose Hikma Movement trailed in seventh place, as well as with ambassadors from Iraq's neighbouring countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran's main rival in the Middle East.