WASHINGTON, July 24 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Thursday congratulated the Iraqi people on the election of their new president, Fuad Masoum.
"By taking this crucial step, the Council of Representatives has demonstrated its commitment to uniting the country according to the constitution and advancing the legitimate rights and aspirations of all Iraq's communities," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.
Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday elected Fuad Masoum as the new president of Iraq, signaling important progress in forming a new government. Masoum won 211 votes from 269 lawmakers who attended the session of the 328-seat parliament.
In the statement, the United States also urged Iraqi leaders to form an inclusive government to address the threat of Islamist militants.
"Only with an inclusive, cohesive government that represents all Iraqis can Iraq most effectively and successfully confront the urgent security and humanitarian challenges it faces in the fight against ISIL," Harf said, referring to the militant group that has seized large territory in northern Iraq.
Iraq's leaders now must take the next step in their democratic process by choosing a prime minister and forming a government, the spokeswoman added.