BAGHDAD — Iraq’s new prime minister began moving his offices out of Baghdad’s highly secure Green Zone on the first day of his term Thursday, saying he wanted to bring his government closer to the people.

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

He said he wanted to provide security, water and electricity for all Iraqis during his term.

“We want to consider all of Iraq a Green Zone,” Abdul-Mahdi said.

The U.S. established the Green Zone in 2003 to secure its embassy and Iraqi government institutions. But the zone has become a symbol of the country’s aggressive inequality and fueled the perception among Iraqis that their government is out of touch. The new location is 2 miles from the Green Zone.


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