The United States welcomes Nouri al-Maliki’s decision to resign his position as Prime Minister of Iraq and to support the formation of a new, more inclusive government.
“We commend the important and honorable decision by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to support Prime Minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi in his efforts to form a new government and develop a national program in line with Iraq’s constitutional timeline. This milestone decision sets the stage for a historic and peaceful transition of power in Iraq,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We urge Mr. Abadi and all Iraqi leaders to move expeditiously to complete this process, which is essential to pulling the country together and consolidating the efforts of Iraq’s many diverse communities against the common threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
Mr. Maliki, who was first elected Prime Minister in 2006, had been re-elected for a third four-year term in April, but he presided over a deadlocked government which was unable to effectively handle many of the problems facing Iraq.
Now that Mr. Maliki has stepped aside, it is up to Minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi to form a new unity government, one that will include a fair representation of the groups that were excluded under the Maliki government. Already, Mr. Maliki’s resignation has prompted some Sunni leaders to signal that they are open to working with the new Prime Minister.
“We are urging Iraqis to come together to turn the tide against ISIL –- above all, by seizing the enormous opportunity of forming a new, inclusive government under the leadership of Prime Minister-designate Abadi,” said President Barack Obama. “We are . . . . hopeful that the Iraqi government situation is moving in the right direction.”