The United States on Monday welcomed the announcement of a new government in Iraq, calling it a “major milestone” for the strife-torn country.
“Overcoming the obstacle of ethnic and sectarian divides, the Iraqi parliament approved a new and inclusive government…Now is the time for Iraq’s leaders to govern their nation with the same vision and sense of purpose that helped to bring this new government together in the first place,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
“The United States will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iraqis as they implement their national plan to overcome the longstanding political and economic grievances that have for too long divided their country,” Kerry said.
Iraq's parliament had, earlier on Monday, approved the new government, which includes Sunnis and Kurds. The newly-elected Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shia, was asked to form a government in August after the resignation of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Saleh al-Mutlak, a Sunni, and Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, were named deputy prime ministers, while Maliki was given the largely ceremonial post of vice president.
Kerry’s statements came ahead of his scheduled trip to the Middle East on Tuesday to build what he called the “broadest possible coalition of partners around the globe to confront, degrade, and ultimately defeat ISIL (Islamic State).”
“I want to underscore that almost every single country on Earth has a role to play in eliminating the ISIL threat and the evil that it represents,” Kerry said, adding that the coalition would be “built to endure for the months and perhaps even the years to come.”