Obama Praises New Iraqi Prime Minister

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.