Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi, center, arrives to the parliament building, in the heavily guarded Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Iraq's parliament is convening to vote on Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi's ministry appointments, and the parliament must confirm the appointments for the government to be sworn in. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraq's new PM moving government outside Baghdad Green Zone

October 25, 2018 - 1:11 pm

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's new prime minister is moving his offices outside Baghdad's highly secure Green Zone, saying he wants to bring his government closer to the people.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi held his first news conference Thursday in a rehabilitated government compound opposite Baghdad's iconic central railway station, in the city center.

The U.S. built a wall around the Green Zone in 2003 to secure its embassy and Iraq's government. But it has become a symbol of Iraq's aggressive inequality and fueled the perception among Iraqis that their government is out of touch.

Abdul-Mahdi says he believes all Iraq should be a "Green Zone" and says he will prioritize providing security, water and electricity during his term.

Abdul-Mahdi was sworn into office early Thursday.

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