The United States may accelerate US economic and military aid to Iraq with the end of Nuri al-Maliki`s eight-year reign but will first want proof that the country`s new leaders have abandoned his sectarian ways.
Facing enormous pressure at home and abroad to step aside, Nuri al-Maliki dropped his bid for a third term as prime minister of Iraq on Thursday night and pledged support for his replacement, moderate Shia Haider al-Abadi.
Up to 30,000 people are still facing a "potential genocide" on a mountain in northern Iraq, the UN warned as the country`s premier designate gained widespread support from countries hoping political reconciliation would help undercut jihadists.
Iraq`s new prime minister-designate won swift endorsements from uneasy mutual allies the United States and Iran on Tuesday as he called on political leaders to end crippling feuds that have let jihadists seize a third of the country.
Iran officially ended its long-time allegiance to Iraq`s sidelined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday, swinging its support behind newly designated premier Haidar al-Abadi in a congratulatory message.
Iran, a key ally of Iraq`s sidelined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said Tuesday it backed the legal process to pick his replacement, following the nomination of Haidar al-Abadi as new head of government.
Iraqi President Fuad Masoum Monday asked Deputy Speaker Haidar al-Abadi to form the next government but the politicians allied to outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki rejected the premier-designate, raising concerns about a political struggle in the country facing insurgency from Sunni jihadists.
Special forces loyal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were deployed in strategic areas of Baghdad on Sunday night after he delivered a tough speech indicating he would not cave in to pressure to drop a bid for a third term, police sources said.
The United States threw its weight behind Iraqi President Fuad Masum after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced on state television he would be filing a complaint against Masum, as security forces massed in the capital.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is under mounting pressure to give up his bid for a third term in office, said on Wednesday that any unconstitutional attempt to form a new government would open "the gates of hell" in the country.