OIC throws weight behind Al-Abadi
Muslim countries rallied behind the newly appointed Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi on Wednesday as the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said the new appointment would bolster the country’s security and stability.
The OIC move came as a letter released on Wednesday said Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani called for controversial premier Nuri Al-Maliki to be replaced with a more conciliatory figure.
“I see the need to speed up the selection of a new prime minister,” Al-Sistani said in the handwritten letter addressed to leaders of Maliki’s Dawa party, which was released by his office more than a month after it was written.
The new premier should be someone who “has broad national acceptance and is able to work together with the political leaders of the other (ethnic and religious) components to save the country from the dangers of terrorism, sectarian war and division,” said the religious leader.
Al-Abadi has won broad international backing, from the US, Saudi Arabia and Iran amongst other countries.
In a message of congratulations addressed to Al-Abadi and to Iraqi President Fuad Masum, OIC Secretary General Iyad Madani said he hoped the major political development would enable Iraq to deal with its challenges.
The OIC chief also hoped Iraq would resume its active role at the Arab, Islamic and international levels.
He hoped all regional and international powers would support “the unity of Iraq without distinction between the component parts” of the country.
Madani reiterated the OIC’s support for Iraq’s independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The international community has urged Al-Abadi to quickly form a unity government ready to face up to extremists who have taken control of large swathes of Iraq.
Al-Maliki said on Wednesday it will take a court ruling for him to step down, defying President Masum’s decision to task Al-Abadi with forming a government.
The Iraqi judiciary, meanwhile, said it was ready to answer all the questions raised by Al-Maliki against Masum for calling Al-Abadi to form the new government.