UNITED NATIONS, July 26 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council stressed political unity in Iraq in deciding to extend the mandate for the mission there for another year.
The Security Council, in its resolution, welcomed improvements in the security situation in Iraq but stressed "that challenges to security in Iraq still exist and that improvements need to be sustained through meaningful political dialogue and national unity."
The council voted to extend the mandate for the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq for 12 months.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatened to call early elections amid a fractured political landscape in Baghdad. He faced a vote of no-confidence earlier this year, highlighted political divisions that intensified in part after U.S. forces left the country in December.
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, on trial in absentia for operating a death squad, told al-Jazeera from Turkey this week that charges against him were "political," adding Maliki was seeking to monopolize his power in Baghdad.
"All communities in Iraq," the Security Council resolution said, need to participate in the political process and "refrain from making statements and actions which could aggravate tensions."
Al-Qaida this week took responsibility for a series of attacks Monday in Iraq that left more than 100 people dead and hundreds of others injured.