, 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)
25 of October 2018 17:11:24
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.