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US Vice President Biden calls Iraq's Kurdish leader

Published on Jul 10, 2014 1:41 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Vice President Joe Biden called Kurdish leader Massud Barzani on Wednesday, on a day when the autonomous region was accused by Iraq's leader of harbouring jihadists.

The accusation by Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki represented another blow to American hopes that religious and ethnic factions in the country will form a united government to challenge marauding Sunni radicals.

The White House said Biden and Barzani agreed on the need to "accelerate the government formation process pursuant to the time-lines set forth in the Iraqi constitution."

A parliamentary session last week to pick a new government ended in disarray as lawmakers traded threats and walked out.

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