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Nouri Al-Maliki

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FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 file photo, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki has given up his post as prime minister to Haider al-Abadi, state television reported Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 a move that could end a political deadlock that plunged Baghdad into uncertainty as the country fights a Sunni militant insurgency. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File) (CREDIT)

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The Obama administration's posture is to avoid publicly criticizing Nouri al-Maliki's influence — mostly because he may re-emerge as the most powerful Shiite candidate when Iraqis return to the polls in 2018. Speaking out against Mr. al-Maliki may make future relations more difficult. (Associated Press)

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FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006 file photo, U.S. President George W. Bush speaks during a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Amman, Jordan. Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, says the Islamic State group's ascension in Iraq could have been prevented if the U.S. had insisted on a nonsectarian Iraqi government, rather than the one led by the recently replaced al-Maliki that favored Shiite Muslims over the Sunnis. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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FILE - In this Tuesday, July 15, 2014 file photo, Shiite lawmaker and Deputy Parliament Speaker Haider al-Abadi speaks to the media after an Iraqi parliament session in Baghdad. On Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, Iraq's largest coalition of Shiite political parties chose al-Ibadi to be its candidate to lead the government in a major defeat for incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just hours after he declared himself the rightful candidate and put troops on the street. Critics say the Shiite al-Maliki contributed to the crisis by monopolizing power and pursuing a sectarian agenda that alienated the country's Sunni and Kurdish minorities. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

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** FILE ** In this Friday, March 26, 2010, file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

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** FILE ** In this Friday, March 26, 2010, file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

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FILE - In this Friday, March 26, 2010, file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's Vice President Khudeir al-Khuzaie called on parliament to convene on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, taking the first step toward forming a new government to present a united front against a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency while Britain's top diplomat started an official visit to the country to urge the country's leaders to put their differences aside for the good of the nation. Al-Maliki's political bloc won the most seats in April 30 elections, but he needs support from other blocs to govern with a majority. His efforts to form a coalition have been complicated by the current crisis as critics blame his failure to promote national reconciliation for the Sunni anger fueling the insurgent gains and want him to step down. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

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FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets with Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in Tehran, Iran. Iraqi security forces battled insurgents targeting the country's main oil refinery and claimed to regain partial control of a city near the Syrian border Wednesday, trying to blunt a weeklong offensive by militants who diplomats fear may have abducted some 100 foreign workers. Al-Maliki, meanwhile, struck an optimistic tone after soldiers abandoned their posts in the wake of the initial offensive, promising his nation would teach the attackers a "lesson." "We have now started our counteroffensive, regaining the initiative and striking back," al-Maliki said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki prepares to casts his vote at a polling station in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Iraqis braved the threat of bombs and other violence to vote Wednesday in parliamentary elections amid a massive security operation as the country slides deeper into sectarian strife. (AP Photo)

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Iraqis braved the threat of bombs and other violence to vote Wednesday in parliamentary elections amid a massive security operation as the country slides deeper into sectarian strife. (AP Photo)

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FILE - In this file photo taken on April 27, 2014 a man passes by a campaign poster of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, top, in Baghdad, Iraq. If Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wins a third four-year term in parliamentary elections Wednesday, he is likely to rely on a narrow sectarian Shiite base, only fueling divisions as Iraq slides deeper into bloody Shiite-Sunni hatreds. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

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FILE - In this, Feb. 27, 2013, file photo Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki listens to a question during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq. If Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wins a third four-year term in parliamentary elections Wednesday, he is likely to rely on a narrow sectarian Shiite base, only fueling divisions as Iraq slides deeper into bloody Shiite-Sunni hatreds. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

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FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2013 file photo Shiite demonstrators chant pro-government slogans and wave national flags, to show support for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center in photo on banner, in Baghdad, Iraq. If Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wins a third four-year term in parliamentary elections Wednesday, he is likely to rely on a narrow sectarian Shiite base, only fueling divisions as Iraq slides deeper into bloody Shiite-Sunni hatreds. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)