Iraqi parliament approves new government headed by Haider al-Abadi

By REUTERS
September 8, 2014 23:00

 
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BAGHDAD - The Iraqi parliament approved a new government headed by Haider Abadi as prime minister on Monday night.

No interior or defence minister was named but Abadi pledged to do so within a week. Adel Abdel Mehdi from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq was named oil minister while Ibrahim Jafaari, a former premier, was named foreign minister.

His deputy prime ministers were named as Hoshiyar Zebari, a Kurd and Iraq's only post-Saddam Hussein foreign minister, and Saleh Mutlaq, a secular Sunni Muslim who served in the same position in the last government.

The parliament approved for the ceremonial posts of vice presidents the last prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, former premier Iyad Allawi, a secular Shi'ite, and the last parliament speaker Usama al-Nujaifi. The three have been seen as political rivals.

Abadi, like Maliki from the Shi'ite Islamist Dawa party, pledged to mend Baghdad's relations with Iraqi Kurdistan, push a programme of decentralization and to rebuild the Iraqi army.

The Iraqi government faces multiple crises, including the seizure of Sunni Muslim areas of the country by Islamic State fighters and other armed groups.

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