US Vice President Joseph Biden welcomed on Monday Iraqi President Fuad Masoum’s nomination of Haider Al-Abbadi for prime minister of Iraq, Anadolu news agency reported. The prime minister-designate must now try to form the next government.
The White House issued a statement saying that Biden telephoned Al-Abadi and discussed with him the ways to activate the Strategic Framework Agreement that was signed between the two countries back in November 2008 with the aim of supporting Iraq’s diplomatic, economic and security stability.
Meanwhile, Al-Abadi said in a statement that he intends to “move quickly to form a broad-based and comprehensive government capable of coping with the threats of the Islamic State (ISIS) and building a better future for all Iraqis, especially in their fight against ISIS.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that the move “signifies the successful completion of the third step in Iraq’s constitutionally mandated government formation process, following the election of the speaker of parliament and the election of the president of the republic in July”.
Kerry communicated that the US commends Masoum for fulfilling his constitutional duties and called on the prime minister designate “to form a government that is representative of the Iraqi people and inclusive of Iraq’s religious and ethnic identities,” adding that the US will continue to “stand with the Iraqi people in their fight against terrorism”.
The Iraqi political factions have been deeply divided over the nomination of a new prime minister to succeed Nouri Al-Maliki, who insists on running for a third term despite wide rejection from the Sunni, Kurdish and Shia blocs.
Although the Iraqi Supreme Federal Court ruled today that the State of Law coalition led by Al-Maliki is indeed the largest parliamentary bloc, the Iraqi president nominated Al-Abadi of the Dawa Party, who is also the nominee of the National Alliance Party, to form the new government despite the party’s objection.
The National Alliance is the main Shia parliamentary coalition in Iraq, which includes several major Shia parties including the State of Law coalition, Citizen coalition, the Liberal bloc, the Reform Movement and the Islamic Virtue Party, as well as some independents.
MP Al-Abadi was elected as the first deputy parliamentary speaker nearly a month ago. He headed the Finance Committee in the previous parliamentary session and the Economic Committee in the one that preceded it.