US officials are rejecting allegations that the United States is playing a direct role in a plot to oust Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, though they continue to reiterate their support for PM-designate Hayder Abadi, and their desire to see Maliki go.
Maliki has rejected calls to step down, and insists that the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) had no authority in appointing Abadi as the designate over him. He has insisted the move is a “coup plot” against his continued rule.
The US has loudly been insisting that Maliki must go for weeks, and responded to Maliki’s condemnation of President Masum yesterday with a statement praising him and reiterating their opposition to Maliki.
The notion that the US isn’t playing a role in Maliki’s ouster is absurd, and underscoring that Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement today pledging support for Masum and warning Maliki “not to cause trouble” with his impending replacement.
The State Department’s statement today conceded that Maliki is still “legally” the prime minister, but also saying they want Abadi to replace him as soon as possible.
Maliki has deployed troops loyal to him across the capital, threatening to militarily ensure his continued rule. The State Department insisted they wouldn’t consider the move a coup if it took place, because Maliki’s premiership is legal.