Maliki Cedes Power Meanwhile EU Ministers Discuss Arming Kurds

Succumbing to U.S., Iranian, and internal pressure, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced he would cede power in a televised address Thursday night. Maliki said that he was withdrawing his candidacy and endorsing Haider al-Abadi, in order “to ease the movement of the political process and the formation of the new government.” U.S. and U.N. officials lauded the move opening the way for the formation of a new government in Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is ready to work with a new Iraqi government to counter the threat posed by Islamic State militants. EU ministers are holding an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to discuss supplying arms to Kurdish forces battling militants led by the Islamic State in northern Iraq. Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain is prepared to join France and the United States in sending weapons to the Kurdish pesh merga.