Today, President Barack Obama provided an update on recent developments in Iraq. The President noted that American forces have "successfully conducted targeted airstrikes to prevent terrorist forces from advancing on the city of Erbil, and to protect American civilians there." At the same time, the United States has continued daily humanitarian efforts to provide assistance to the men, women, and children who are stranded on Mount Sinjar, and deployed a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team to help.
President Obama reiterated that "the only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government," and highlighted important steps Iraq is taking in that effort. The President said:
"Last month, the Iraqi people named a new President. Today, President Masum named a new Prime Minister designate, Dr. Haider al-Abadi. Under the Iraqi constitution, this is an important step towards forming a new government that can unite Iraq’s different communities.
"Earlier today, Vice President Biden and I called Dr. Abadi to congratulate him and to urge him to form a new cabinet as quickly as possible -- one that’s inclusive of all Iraqis, and one that represents all Iraqis. I pledged our support to him, as well as to President Masum and Speaker Jabouri, as they work together to form this government. Meanwhile, I urge all Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through the political process in the days ahead."
In a statement
, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "The United States welcomes Iraqi President Fuad Masum’s charging of the nominee of the largest bloc in the Council of Representatives, Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, with the formation of a new government. This signifies the successful completion of the third step in Iraq’s constitutionally mandated government formation process, following the election of the Speaker of Parliament and the election of the President of the Republic in July."
The Secretary continued, "The United States applauds President Masum’s fulfillment of his constitutional duties and urges the Prime Minister-designate to form a government that is representative of the Iraqi people and inclusive of Iraq’s religious and ethnic identities. The Prime-Minister designate should present the members of his proposed new government to the Council of Representatives consistent with Iraq’s constitutional timeline.
"The United States will continue to support Iraq’s democratic process and stand with the Iraqi people in their fight against terrorism."
For more information:
- Airstrikes in Iraq: What You Need to Know, August 11, 2014
- U.S. Welcomes Important Step in Iraq's Government Formation Process, August 11, 2014
- Statement by President Obama on Iraq, August 11, 2014
- Readout of Vice President Biden's Call with Iraqi President Fuad Masum, August 11, 2014
- Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, August 11, 2014
- U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq Website