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US urges no 'coercion' in Iraq leadership tussle

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is pictured June 23, 2014The United States on Tuesday renewed warnings against “coercion” in Iraq’s political crisis as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki struggled to cling to power. “We would reject any effort, legally or otherwise, to achieve outcomes through coercion or manipulation of the constitutional or judicial process,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. President Barack Obama has thrown his support behind prime minister-designate Haidar al-Abadi after US criticism that Maliki contributed to Iraq’s turmoil by ruling divisively on behalf of the Shiite majority. Maliki has denounced the naming of Abadi as a constitutional violation and blamed the United States.

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