US: New government is 'milestone' for Iraq
10:46 09/09/2014
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The US has hailed the announcement of a new government in Iraq ahead of a drive to organise an international coalition against Islamic State (IS).

US: New government is 'milestone' for Iraq

Kurdish and Iraqi army forces have been pushing back IS forces in recent days

Secretary of State John Kerry said the US would stand with Iraqis in the fight against the group, which has seized large parts of the country.

Mr Kerry begins a visit Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for talks.

Iraq's parliament approved the new government, which includes Sunnis and Kurds, on Monday.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, a moderate Shia, was asked to form a government in August after the resignation of Nouri al-Maliki.

He chose Saleh al-Mutlak, a Sunni, and Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, as his deputy prime ministers, and vowed to fill the interior and defence minister positions within a week.

The US has repeatedly called for Iraq's central government to do more to deal with the grievances of the Sunni minority to persuade it to join the fight against IS.

'Enduring coalition'

President Barack Obama congratulated Mr Abadi by telephone on Monday.

In a statement, he said that Mr Abadi had expressed his commitment to work with "all communities in Iraq as well as regional and international partners" to strengthen Iraq's efforts against IS.

Mr Obama is expected to announce a strategy to combat the group on Wednesday.

He has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of a US ground operation, but has sanctioned targeted US airstrikes against the group in Iraq.

Earlier this year, Islamic State announced the creation of a "caliphate" in the large swathes of Iraq and Syria under its control.

It has threatened many of Iraq's minorities and claimed to have beheaded several foreign captives.

Mr Kerry is due to travel to the region to build what he called "the broadest possible coalition of partners around the globe to confront, degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL".

He said the coalition would be "built to endure for the months, and perhaps years, to come".

The secretary general of the Arab League meanwhile urged its members to confront Islamic State on all possible levels.

What was required from member states was a "clear and firm decision for a comprehensive confrontation" with "cancerous and terrorist" groups, Nabil al-Arabi told a meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo.

Source Vietnamnet

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