TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United States and the United Nations commended Iraq’s outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for stepping down to preserve unity of the country in a televised address.
After initially struggling to stay in power, Nouri al-Maliki relinquished his post late Thursday to a fellow Dawa Party member, Haider al-Abadi, which Secretary of State John Kerry called an “important and honorable decision.”
“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 Syria,” Kerry said, using the former name of the militant group.
Kerry said the US stands ready to partner with a new Iraqi government to counter the ISIL threat, “and we will encourage other countries in the region and international community to do the same.”
President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, echoed Kerry’s remarks, saying the US remained committed to a strong partnership with Iraq and its people.
Rice’s statement was issued while she accompanied Obama on his Martha’s Vineyard vacation.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday also welcomed Maliki’s decision to step aside and pledge support for al-Abadi as his successor.
“He (Ban) looks forward to the swift formation of an inclusive, broad-based government,” Ban’s press office said in a statement.Maliki stepping aside.
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