Iraqi Caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi dropped a bombshell by announcing that the era of Baghdad’s “Green Zone,” which was set up during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, is nearing its end.
Kadhimi, during a Tuesday visit to the Municipality of Baghdad, pledged that the Green Zone in the center of the security-fortified capital would return to its previous era, like the rest of the capital.
The premier’s statements came a day after he dismissed Baghdad Mayor Alaa Maan over the ongoing suffering of the capital’s 12 million people.
At the Municipality, Kadhimi said in remarks carried by the Iraqi News Agency (INA) that “the visit aims to follow up the workflow directly,” stressing “his direct communication with the Municipality in the coming period.”
“The concept of the Green Zone must change, and return to its previous era, with the original names of its neighborhoods,” he added.
The Prime Minister directed “to launch cleanliness campaigns,” stressing: “We all have to work for a clean Baghdad.”
He continued, “Baghdad is an ancient historical city with a cultural atmosphere, some of its streets have lost their identity,” stressing “work to restore this identity.”
Kadhimi is the second prime minister to take power after 2003.
He must deal with the file of the heavily fortified Green Zone, which includes government and parliament buildings as well as the US embassy and a number of headquarters of Arab and foreign embassies.
The Green Zone also includes the headquarters, offices, and homes of many Iraqi leaders and politicians. Entry to the area is restricted to those holding special permits.
While it is expected that Kadhimi’s decision will receive a great popular welcome due to the negative view that the Iraqi citizen holds to the Green Zone, the decision may face objections from political parties.