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France for unity govt in Iraq 'with or without Maliki'

Published on Jun 20, 2014 3:45 PM
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (above) says the situation in oil-rich Iraq is "extremely serious". PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - France on Friday called for the formation of a unity government in Iraq with or without Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to fight Sunni jihadists advancing towards Baghdad.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the offensive by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that has brought them close to the capital posed an unprecedented threat.

"This is the first time that a terrorist group is threatening to take control of a state," Mr Fabius told BFM-RMC media groups.

"There has to be a government of national unity," he said. "With or without Nouri al-Maliki." "If you want to fight terrorist groups there has to be national unity," he added.

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