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Uneasy allies US and Iran endorse Iraq's PM-designate as Iraqis voice hope for change

Published on Aug 13, 2014 12:40 AM
An Iraqi woman and child walk towards an Iraqi security armoured personnel carrier stationed along a street as daily life in neighbourhoods and the commercial centre function normally in the capital Baghdad, on August 12, 2014. A political showdown loomed in Baghdad as incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appeared determined not to go down without a fight after his replacement as prime minister was internationally acclaimed. -- PHOTO: AFP 

BAGHDAD (REUTERS) - Iraq's new prime minister-designate won swift endorsements from uneasy mutual allies the United States and Iran on Tuesday as he called on political leaders to end crippling feuds that have let jihadists seize a third of the country.

Mr Haider al-Abadi still faces opposition closer to home, where his Shi'ite party colleague Nouri al-Maliki has refused to step aside after eight years as premier that have alienated Iraq's once dominant Sunni minority and irked Washington and Teheran.

However, Shi'ite militia and army commanders long loyal to Mr Maliki signalled their backing for the change, as did many people on the streets of Baghdad, eager for an end to fears of a further descent into sectarian and ethnic bloodletting.

Sunni neighbours Turkey and Saudi Arabia also welcomed Mr Abadi's appointment.

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