By Mick Krever, CNN
Warning that Iraq “will never be the same” after Mosul fell to ISIS, the head of the U.N.’s mission in Iraq warned on Tuesday that the country’s next government must act quickly to heal political rifts.
“ISIS has been very clever in using the fault-lines that exist within Iraqi society and implanting itself pretty much a cancer would in a human body,” Nikolay Mladenov told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour.
“It needs to be dealt with at a security level, but it also needs to be addressed, the problem needs to be addressed at a political level.”
U.S. President Barack Obama and his chief diplomat, John Kerry, will hardly utter Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's name, instead putting all the focus and hope on the newly designated prime minister, Haider al-Abadi.
Al-Maliki, nonetheless, is doing all he can to ensure that there is no new Iraqi government, pledging on Monday night to “fix the mistake.” Iraqi troops loyal to him were also on the streets of Baghdad.
“I think we should not overstate that threat” of political disagreements turning into violence, Mladenov said, “because the message from parliament has been quite clear.”
“The largest parliamentary bloc has nominated Doctor Haider al-Abadi to be the next prime minister; he now needs to focus on forming a government.”
All constitutional deadlines – of choosing a new president, speaker of parliament, and now prime minister – have now been met, he said, and al-Maliki has repeatedly pledged his support to the constitutional process.
“Most Iraqis living in these parts of the country are not extremists. They want to live in peace, they want to live in security, they want to enjoy the benefits a democratic constitution provides them.”
“This can happen, and it needs to happen rather quickly, because the country is facing a life-threatening threat because of this current situation.”