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Obama pledges to support new Iraqi government

President Barack Obama is giving his approval to the appointment of a prime minister to replace Nouri al-Maliki and urging the formation of a new government in Iraq as soon as possible.

In brief remarks delivered at his vacation spot in Martha's Vineyard, Obama said he and Vice President Joe Biden had spoken with Haider al-Ibadi, who was designated prime minister by the new president.

Obama also said the United States had successfully carried out targeted air strikes to support Kurdish fighters in their battle against Islamist extremists, and conducted humanitarian relief missions to aid thousands of stranded women and children on a mountain in Iraq.

He said the only lasting solution in Iraq is the formation of an inclusive government.

Over the weekend, militias tied to Maliki reportedly increased their presence in Baghdad, after the embattled leader said he would not drop a bid for another term.

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To the north of the country, reports surfaced on Monday that the Obama administration has begun arming Kurdish forces, who are directly engaged with militants from Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL).

Last week, Obama authorized airstrikes in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and for humanitarian purposes. In a speech on Saturday, the president said that the operations could continue for months.

—By CNBC with wires