- The Washington Times - Monday, August 11, 2014

With the Iraqi government in turmoil, Vice President Joseph R. Biden called Iraqi President Fuad Masum on Monday to express U.S. support for progress in naming a new prime minister.

The White House said Mr. Biden spoke to Mr. Masum about “the ongoing government formation process in Baghdad and to express the United States’ full support for his role as guarantor of the Iraqi Constitution.”

The administration was careful not to say that Mr. Biden supported the nomination of Hayder al-Abadi to be the next prime minister, replacing Nouri al-Maliki. Instead, the White House said Mr. Biden “commended Masum for meeting this key milestone and reiterated President Obama’s repeated calls for the timely creation of a new, more inclusive government that will be able to address the legitimate concerns of all Iraqis.”

The vice president also discussed Mr. Obama’s desire “to boost coordination with a new Iraqi government and Iraqi Security Forces to roll back gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant,” the White House said.

The Obama administration has said it views the formation of a new government in Baghdad as the first necessary step to reversing the gains by Islamic State fighters in the north of Iraq.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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