BEIRUT

Middle East

Maliki agrees to back new prime minister

Caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (3rd L) walks in the grounds of the Defence Ministry in the capital Baghdad during the funeral of Major General Majid Abdul Salam, the pilot of a helicopter that crashed the day before in northern Iraq, on August 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO/STR

BAGHDAD: Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday agreed to step aside and declared his support for his nominated replacement in the post.

Maliki agreed to endorse Haidar al-Abadi following a meeting of Dawa party members in Baghdad, ending the deadlock that has plunged Baghdad into political uncertainty, party sources said.

Flanked by Abadi and other politicians, Maliki made the announcement in a recorded message broadcast by Iraqi state television. Dawa officials said Maliki would also drop the legal challenge that he filed against President Fouad Masoum, who named Abadi to the post.

Maliki said he refused to “be a reason for bloodshed” after he faced huge pressure to abandon his quest for a third term in the face of an insurgency, led by the Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 15, 2014, on page 1.

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