Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki Agrees To Step Down

In this Friday, March 26, 2010 file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq.

Hadi Mizban/AP

AA Font size + Print

In this Friday, March 26, 2010 file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq.

The writing was on the wall and embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki knew it. By Stephanie Gaskell

With his country descending into further chaos every day as Islamic extremists threaten the future stability of Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced Thursday that he would step down.

His resignation paves the way for Haider al-Abadi to become Iraq’s next leader. Abadi was nominated earlier this week by Iraqi President Fouad Massoum to succeed Maliki, who in recent days had been fortifying positions in and around Baghdad with Iraqi Army tanks and troops in what many feared would result in a military coup.

Abadi is the deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament and a member of the Islamic Dawa Party.

The Obama administration has promised a wide range of assistance to Iraq—including broader efforts in the military, humanitarian and even economic realms—but has repeatedly insisted that those plans won’t advance until the Iraqi government becomes more inclusive than the one forged under Maliki’s watch.

President Barack Obama has also repeatedly said that there is no U.S. military solution to the problems in Iraq, namely the rapid advance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters, who have taken large areas of Iraq, including Mosul, and have been threatening Baghdad for weeks.

(Read more: 7 Things You Need to Know About the Next Iraqi Prime Minister)

We have increased the delivery of military assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIL on the front lines,” Obama said Thursday during brief remarks from his vacation in Nantucket, Mass. “Perhaps most importantly, we are urging Iraqis to come together to turn the tide against ISIL above all by seizing the enormous opportunity of forming a new inclusive government under the leadership of Prime Minister-designate [Haider al-Abadi].

He still has a challenging task in putting a government together, but we are modestly hopeful that the Iraqi government situation is moving in the right direction,” Obama said.

Secretary of State John Kerry commended Maliki’s decision to step aside. “This milestone decision sets the stage for a historic and peaceful transition of power in Iraq,” he said. “We urge Mr. Abadi and all Iraqi leaders to move expeditiously to complete this process, which is essential to pulling the country together and consolidating the efforts of Iraq’s many diverse communities against the common threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”

Abadi has 26 days left to form a government, under the rules of the Iraqi constitution.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • GBC Issue Brief: Supply Chain Insecurity

    Federal organizations rely on state-of-the-art IT tools and systems to deliver services efficiently and effectively, and it takes a vast ecosystem of organizations, individuals, information, and resources to successfully deliver these products. This issue brief discusses the current threats to the vulnerable supply chain - and how agencies can prevent these threats to produce a more secure IT supply chain process.

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.