President Barack Obama took a break from his vacation on Monday to reiterate his support for a new, “inclusive” Iraqi government to form without the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government — one that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis,” Obama said.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi President Fouad Massoum named Haider al-Abadi to be the country’s new prime minister. But al-Maliki argued the appointment is invalid and has “dug in for a fight,” according to the Washington Post.
Obama, whose administration believes the Shiite al-Maliki has excluded Iraq’s Sunni minority, made it clear he wants the prime minister to get out of the way. The U.S. president had nothing but praise for the “important” pick of al-Abadi, whom he called “promising.”
“Today Iraq took a promising step forward in this critical effort. Last month the Iraqi people named a new president. Today, President Massoum named a new prime minister-designate, Dr. Haider al-Abadi. Under the Iraqi constitution this is an important step towards forming a new government that can unite Iraq’s different communities. Earlier today, Vice President Biden and I called Dr. Abadi to congratulate him and to encourage him to form a new cabinet as quickly as possible.”
Obama also warned there would be “difficult days” ahead for the fragile Iraqi government as they battle the jihadist “terrorists” of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL.). He placed particular emphasis on the need for the country’s leaders to embrace the diverse communities that have often been at odds as they face this fight.
“This new Iraqi leadership has a difficult task. It has to regain the confidence of its citizens by governing inclusively,” he said. “The United States stands ready to support a government that addresses the needs and grievances of all the Iraqi people.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.