CAIRO, Jan. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak telephoned Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi on Sunday to congratulate him on the holding of landmark elections in Iraq, the official MENA news agency reported.
Mubarak, who is taking part in the African Union summit in the Nigerian capital Abuja, hoped this step would lead to a political participation that involves all segments of the Iraqi people and would open the door for restoring calm and stability in Iraq.
Mubarak also hoped that the elections would preserve the integrity of the Iraqi lands and provide an atmosphere conducive to development and reconstruction.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-JaberAl-Sabah expressed hope that the Iraqi elections would succeed.
"We do not have any intent to interfere in the Iraqi elections, but we hope that Iraqi elections would be run within an atmosphere of calmness and tranquility," he was quoted by the Kuwait News Agency as saying.
He wished the Iraqis would be able to practice their electoral right, select their representatives and complete the electoral process without losses.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabahpledged Kuwait's full support for the political process in Iraq and commitment to help Iraq rebuild stability and security.
He also stressed the importance of holding inclusive elections with the participation of all Iraqi social groups, expressing regret that some Iraqis could not take part in the elections due to security risks.
Iraqi authorities and US forces took exceptional security measures to prevent insurgents from sabotaging Iraq's first national elections after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, including dusk-to-dawn curfew and restriction on vehicle movement.
However, suicide bomb attacks swept through the country, killing dozens and wounding many more.
Iraqi parliamentary elections opened at 7:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) andclosed at 5:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Sunday, with an estimated turnout at 72 percent of more than 14 million registered voters.
The 275-seat transitional National Assembly will be in charge ofchoosing a transitional government and drafting a permanent constitution to be endorsed in a national referendum by Oct. 15.
A new government and parliament will then be elected by the end of this year under the guidance of the constitution. Enditem