WASHINGTON - The United States may accelerate US economic and military aid to Iraq with the end of Nuri al-Maliki's eight-year reign but will first want proof that the country's new leaders have abandoned his sectarian ways.
Maliki's surprise announcement that he would give way to Haider Abadi as Iraq's prime minister removes the man blamed by Washington for the revival of vicious sectarianism in Iraq and the advance of the Islamic State deep into Iraqi territory.
US officials said his departure, which may not occur until September, could open the door to greater military and economic assistance to a new Iraqi government if it adopts an inclusive agenda.
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