US commends Maliki for stepping aside
The Obama administration has commended Iraq's incumbent prime minister for stepping aside, calling it a milestone that sets the stage for a peaceful transition of power that could unite Iraqis against the security threat from Islamic State group.
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 the Levant," Kerry said.
Kerry said the US stands ready to partner with a new Iraqi government to counter the Islamic State threat, "and we will encourage other countries in the region and international community to do the same."