Iraqi Prime Minister commended for agreeing to step down

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Nouri al-Maliki. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The decision of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to withdraw his candidature has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

On Monday Iraqi President Fuad Masum nominated Haide al-Abadi as Iraq’s new Prime Minister and charged him with forming a government.

Initially Prime Minister al-Maliki appeared to be resisting stepping down but on Thursday he announced his withdrawal and pledged to support the newly appointed Prime Minister.

The UN Secretary-General says the decision will allow what he described as "the crucial process" to form a new government to proceed swiftly.

Alessandra Vellucci is a UN Spokesperson in Geneva.

"The Secretary-General commends the decision of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to withdraw his candidature and his pledge to support Mr. Haider al-Abbadi as nominee to succeed him. He also urges the political leaders in Iraq to build on this historic opportunity by redoubling their efforts to work together so as to build consensus on how to address the many urgent and grave challenges facing their country."

The UN Secretary-General said he looks forward to the swift formation of an inclusive, broad-based government ready to immediately tackle the pressing issues that Iraq is facing.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration:  1’28″

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