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Iraq struggles to drive back Sunni militants

Published on Jul 3, 2014 4:02 PM
 

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Baghdad's forces struggled Thursday to break a military stalemate with Sunni militants, as US officials reached out to key leaders to push for an end to political chaos in Iraq.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has offered an amnesty aimed at undercutting support for the militants who have overrun large areas of Iraq, after the new parliament's first session ended in farce, with MPs walking out instead of working on government formation.

With calls for politicians to come together unsuccessful, Washington contacted Iraqi and regional players individually, with President Barack Obama calling Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Vice President Joe Biden talking to former Iraqi parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a prominent Sunni leader.

The White House said Mr Biden and Mr Nujaifi agreed on the importance of Iraqis "moving expeditiously to form a new government capable of uniting the country".

 
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