Iraq's Maliki Relinquishes Power

Maliki obamaREUTERS/Jonathan ErnstIraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama (R) pause for translation as they talk to reporters in the Oval Office after meeting at the White House in Washington, November 1, 2013.

Nuri al-Maliki has given up his fight to remain prime minister of Iraq and now supports his replacement, Haider al-Abadi, state television reported on Thursday.

Maliki faced immense pressure to step aside for a less polarising figure capable of countering Islamic State militants who are posing the biggest security threat to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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