By Justin Sink - 08/11/14 03:55 PM EDT
President Obama will interrupt his Martha's Vineyard vacation Monday to deliver a statement on the latest political developments in Iraq.
The president's comments, slated for 4:45 p.m. EST, comes as U.S. forces continue to shell Islamist rebels in the country’s northern regions and amid new political turmoil gripping Baghdad.
Al-Maliki has said he wants to seek a third term as Iraq's leader, despite criticism that his purge of minority Iraqis from top military and political posts enabled the rise of the Sunni extremists now waging war against the Shias and Kurds. The Iraqi leader has said he will ask a federal court to intervene, and deployed loyal militiamen throughout the streets of Baghdad.
Earlier Monday, Vice President Biden placed congratulatory phone calls to Masum and al-Abadi in a clear indication the White House was supporting the nomination — and, by extension, al-Maliki's removal from power. The State Department also warned against the use of force or attempts by Maliki to subvert Masum's nomination through the judicial process.
“We believe that the government-formation process is critical in terms of sustaining the stability and calm in Iraq, and our hope is that Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters," Secretary of State John Kerry said in Sydney, according to The New York Times.
You can watch the president's comments here.