Obama Praises New Iraqi Prime Minister

    Geneva, Switzerland:  Iraqi Minister of Communication Haider al-Abadi speaks during the fourth plenary session of the UN-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society, 12 December 2003, at the Palexpo in Geneva. The world's first information summit wraps up three days of speeches on the importance of technology today, with governments due to agree on a set of goals to improve living standards for millions of people. AFP PHOTO/JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK  (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

    Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP/Getty

    Iraq’s new president named a new prime minister on Monday, despite current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s refusal to leave office. “Today, Iraq took a promising step forward in this critical effort,” President Obama said in a press conference, praising a more inclusive government. Prominent Shiite politician and current Deputy Speaker of Parliament Haider al-Abadi will take over from Maliki, who has spent the last eight years in office. “Now the Iraqi people are in your hands,” President Fouad Masoum told Abadi as they shook hands in a ceremony in Baghdad. On Sunday, Maliki announced on Iraqi television that he would go to court against Masoum to keep his premiership, after the president failed to direct him and his bloc in parliament to form a new government. “What is happening today is a coup against the constitution, a deliberate violation of it by the president,” he said in a statement.

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