UNITED NATIONS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday regretted the deadly protests in Iraq and asked for the formation of a new government, said his spokesman.
"We regret the tragic loss of life and injuries that have occurred," said Farhan Haq, in reply to a question on Guterres' response to weeklong protests in Iraq.
"We call on the Iraqi authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly without threats, intimidation, or arbitrary detention. We also call on all political actors to cooperate constructively in finalizing the ongoing electoral recount process with a view to the swift establishment of a new government that will address the people's legitimate aspirations for tangible reforms, that (will) improve the daily lives of all Iraqis."
At least eight people were dead and 56 people injured in protests over jobs and basic services in Iraq.