UN envoy urges Iraq’s leaders to ‘rise to the moment’

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Iraq says its political leaders “must rise to the moment” to build a stable, inclusive and prosperous nation after the unrest and upheaval that has gripped the country this fall.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that “the country is at a crossroads.”

Iraq has been roiled by anti-government protests and a bloody crackdown since October. Nearly 400 people have been killed.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced his resignation Friday. His successor has not yet been chosen, and the process is clouded with legal and political questions.

Hennis-Plasschaert told the council that Iraq’s troubles can’t be resolved by “pursuing partisan interests, muddling through or brutally cracking down on peaceful protesters.”

Iraq is expected to address the council later Tuesday.