Biden expresses US support to new Iraqi president and prime minister-designate amid dispute


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WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden is giving U.S. support to Iraq's new president and his nominee to take over as prime minister over the objections of the incumbent.

The White House says Biden called Iraqi President Fouad Massoum and Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Ibadi Monday morning to express U.S. support for the move to a more inclusive Iraqi government amid a battle against Islamic State militants.

The White House says the vice president commended Massoum for meeting a "key milestone" in nominating al-Ibadi, the deputy parliament speaker.

Incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is accusing Massoum of carrying out "a coup against the constitution and the political process" with al-Ibadi's nomination.

The White House says Biden gave Massoum "the United States' full support for his role as guarantor of the Iraqi Constitution."

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