Biden expresses support in call to Iraqi president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is giving U.S. support to Iraq's new president as he's embroiled in dispute with the prime minister.

The White House says Biden called Iraqi President Fouad Massoum Monday morning "to express the United States' full support for his role as guarantor of the Iraqi Constitution."

The White House says the vice president commended Massoum for meeting a "key milestone" in nominating Haider al-Ibadi, the deputy parliament speaker, to be the next prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is accusing Massoum of blocking his reappointment and insisting he should be nominated for a third term.

The White House did not mention al-Maliki in the readout of Biden's call. The statement says the U.S. will boost coordination with the new government to confront the Islamic State militants.

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