Nouri al-Maliki the Prime Minister of Iraq who is Shiite is under great pressure due to the militant offensive that is sweeping the northern part of his country. He is facing growing calls for his resignation as insurgents inspired by al-Qaeda press on towards Baghdad.
Al-Maliki, who rose out of obscurity to the top political office in the country in 2006, has had his credibility recently challenged by the militants, whom are Sunni from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS.
These insurgents launched a successful and equally stunning offensive in northern Iraq last week swallowing up large chunks of the region including Mosul the second largest city in the country.
With Iraq currently in great turmoil, the prime minister’s rivals are mounting campaigns to force him from office with some of them angling to receive support from backers in the West and other heavyweights in the region.
On Thursday, the effort of the rivals received a huge boost from the White House. President Barack Obama did not directly call for the resignation of al-Maliki, but his words all but accomplished the same thing.
Obama said only the leaders that are able to govern with just an inclusive agenda would be able to bring the people of Iraq together and help them get through the current crisis.
Though the White House did not make a direct call for the resignation of al-Maliki, the administration has reportedly weighed whether to press the prime minister to step down as a final effort to stop the Sunnis from starting a civil war in the country.
More than airstrikes or other military action by the U.S., top officials in the U.S. believe that handing more credence to the concerns of the Sunnis about the Prime Minister can help stave off more sectarian fighting similar to what engulfed the country less than 10 years ago.
On Wednesday, Joseph Biden the U.S. Vice President spoke to al-Maliki emphasizing he needed to govern inclusively.
Biden also talked with the parliamentary speaker for the Sunnis and the president of the self-ruled Kurdish region in northern Iraq.