Obama pulls a Biden in Iraq.
President of Iraq Jalal Talabani, left, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, speak during the 23rd congress of the Socialist International at the Lagonissi Grand Resort, about 40 kilometers (25miles) south of Athens on Tuesday, July 1, 2008. (Yahoo-AP)
President Obama called staunch American ally and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and asked him to resign last weekend. This didn’t go over well with the Iraqis. Today the Iraqis will announce a new government in which Mr. Talabani remains president.
The Washington Times reported:
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, one of America’s closest allies in the country, has rebuffed the personal request of President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to relinquish his post as Iraqis form a new government in Baghdad.
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Iraqi leaders are expected to announce Thursday a new government in which Mr. Talabani remains president, Nouri al-Maliki remains prime minister and Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya party, which won the most votes in March’s election, will control the speakership of Parliament and the presidency of the National Security Council, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials familiar with negotiations that ended Wednesday in Baghdad between Iraq’s major parties.
Last Saturday, Mr. Obama phoned Mr. Talabani and asked him to give up the seat he has held since 2005 so that Mr. Allawi could be Iraq’s president, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials familiar with the diplomacy. Mr. Obama on Saturday also urged the president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, to accept Mr. Allawi in the role of the presidency.
Since late summer, U.S. officials had been trying to get Mr. al-Maliki and Mr. Allawi to share power in the government because neither man’s party won the majority of votes. But Mr. al-Maliki’s Rule of Law party ultimately formed an alliance with the Kurds and another Shiite bloc with ties to Iran known as the Iraqi National Alliance.
Maybe it had something to do with Talabani being such a great admirer of George W. Bush?