Obama calls for new Iraq government
Barack Obama has backed the appointment of a prime minister to replace Nouri Maliki and urging the formation of a new Iraqi government as soon as possible.
In brief remarks delivered at his holiday spot on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, tonight, the US president said he and vice president Joe Biden had spoken to Haider al-Ibadi, who was designated prime minister by the new president.
Mr Obama also said the United States had successfully carried out targeted air strikes to support Kurdish fighters in their battle against Islamist extremists and conducted humanitarian relief missions to help thousands of stranded women and children on a mountain in Iraq.
He said the only lasting solution in Iraq was the formation of an inclusive government.
Mr Obama welcomed new leadership in Iraq as "a promising step forward". He did not mention Mr Maliki but was clearly addressing the embattled incumbent as he called for Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through a political transition.
"These have been difficult days in Iraq," Mr Obama said. "I'm sure there are going to be difficult days ahead.
"The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government."