Iraq named two relatively unknown politicians to head its most sensitive security posts on Saturday, completing a new cabinet and filling the positions for the first time in four years.

After months of discreet backroom haggling that characterises Iraq’s political dealings, parliament approved Prime Minister Haidar Abadi’s nominations of a member of a controversial and powerful Shia militia to the post of interior minister, and a Sunni ally of an influential Mosul political family to the post of defence minister. The news was reported by Iraqi state television.

Khaled Obeidi, a member of Iraqi vice-president Usama Nujaifi’s political party, will serve as defence minister. He is a native of Iraq’s second city of Mosul, which has fallen under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or Isis, which has seized large sections of Iraq and Syria. […]