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.
Regional power broker Iran believes Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is no longer able to hold his country together and is looking for an alternative leader to combat a Sunni Islamist insurgency, senior Iranian officials said on Tuesday.
Iraq`s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his air force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against Islamic State fighters after the Sunni militants made another dramatic push through the north, state television reported.