Baghdad, Aug 12 (IANS) Iraq's outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Tuesday asked the security forces to stay away from the political crisis over who will form the next government.
"I want you to stay away from the political crisis and to carry out your security duties to protect the country. Do not intervene and let the people, politicians and the judiciary to deal with the crisis," Xinhua quoted Maliki as saying at a meeting with senior officers from the army, police and other security forces in Baghdad.
There have been growing fears that some security forces loyal to Maliki as the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces have been deployed in Baghdad.
On Monday, Iraqi President Fuad Masoum accepted the nomination of Haider al-Abadi as prime minister-designate, a significant milestone for the country's troubled political process, but the nomination angered incumbent Maliki who slammed the choice as a "violation of the constitution" and threatened to sue his political opponents.
However, Abadi Tuesday issued a statement saying he considered Maliki to be a key political partner and hailed his role in fighting terrorism.
"I appreciate Maliki's great efforts in fighting terrorism and building the state, and he will always be a brother, comrade and an important political partner," Abadi said in the statement.
Maliki has been under growing pressure to give up his bid for a third term, as the National Alliance, a Shia bloc, which includes Maliki's State of the Law party, says that the next prime minister must be accepted by other political partners from the Kurds and Sunnis.
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