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Iraq lawmakers urge speedy selection for key government ministers of defense, interior

  • Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, right, and Ammar al-Hakim, front, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, left, during the session to approve the new government in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Iraq's parliament officially named Haider al-Abadi the country's new prime minister late Monday and approved most of his proposed Cabinet amid calls by the Arab League for its members to combat the Sunni militant group violently advancing across Iraq and Syria.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, Pool)

    Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, right, and Ammar al-Hakim, front, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, left, during the session to approve the new government in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Iraq's parliament officially named Haider al-Abadi the country's new prime minister late Monday and approved most of his proposed Cabinet amid calls by the Arab League for its members to combat the Sunni militant group violently advancing across Iraq and Syria.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, left, and Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, right , shake hands during the session to approve the new government in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and former Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujeifi were given the largely ceremonial posts of co-vice president. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, Pool)

    Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, left, and Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, right , shake hands during the session to approve the new government in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and former Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujeifi were given the largely ceremonial posts of co-vice president. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi lawmakers attend the session to approve the new government in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.  Iraq's parliament officially named Haider al-Abadi the country's new prime minister late Monday and approved most of his proposed Cabinet amid calls by the Arab League for its members to combat the Sunni militant group violently advancing across Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, Pool)

    Iraqi lawmakers attend the session to approve the new government in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Iraq's parliament officially named Haider al-Abadi the country's new prime minister late Monday and approved most of his proposed Cabinet amid calls by the Arab League for its members to combat the Sunni militant group violently advancing across Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Iraqi lawmakers are urging the country's new prime minister to quickly assign the critical posts of defense and interior minister which will spearhead domestic efforts to combat the violent Sunni militant advance.

Addressing lawmakers late Monday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi requested an additional week for the selection of these positions.

Sunni lawmaker Hamid al-Mutlaq said expressed Tuesday his concern over the vacant posts, calling on al-Abadi's government to "prove its credibility and good intentions." Salim al-Muslimawi, a Shiite lawmaker from Babil province, said any further delay in naming a defense and interior minister risks making the government appear weak and divided.

The United States launched airstrikes in Iraq on Aug. 8 in hopes of boosting the waning efforts of Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting militants with the Islamic State group.