• UN hails formation of new government in Iraq


    UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed the formation of a new government in Iraq, saying that it “is a positive step towards political stability and peace in the country.”

    “The secretary-general welcomes today’s announcement of the formation of a new inclusive government in Iraq and congratulates Haider al-Abadi on his confirmation as Iraq’s prime minister,” said a statement issued here by Ban’s spokesman. “At this challenging moment for Iraq and the region, today’s decision by the Iraqi Council of Representatives is a positive step towards political stability and peace in the country.”

    Earlier on Monday, the Iraqi parliament approved the new cabinet of Prime Minister al-Abadi and his government program for the next four years, leaving key security portfolios unfilled due to political disputes, namely the defense and interior ministers. Al-Abadi requested an additional week to name them.

    “The secretary-general calls on all Iraqi political leaders to build on the current momentum of collaboration to ensure that a decision is made without delay on the pending appointments of minister of defense and minister of interior,” said the statement.

    “The secretary-general hopes that the ministerial program approved today will be implemented in a timely manner, taking into account the needs of all Iraqi communities,” it said, adding that Ban pays tribute to outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for his leadership in this time of transition.

    “The United Nations looks forward to working with the new government of Iraq in its efforts to serve all Iraq’s communities while confronting major challenges,” the statement said.

    According to the Iraqi constitution, Al-Abadi has to pick his cabinet within 30 days after his official nomination as prime minister-designate on Aug. 11 by Iraqi President Fuad Masoum.

    Al-Abadi appointed Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite leading figure and former prime minister, as foreign minister, and Adel Abdul-Mahdi as oil minister, a Shiite leading figure in the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, led by Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim, while naming Rowsch Nuri Shaways, a Kurdish, as finance minister.

    The Iraqi parliament also elected the outgoing Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, former Sunni Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi as vice presidents in the Presidency Council, which is headed by the Iraqi President Fuad Masoum, a Kurdish. PNA


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