Kerry in Kurdistan to urge leaders to be part of national government

ARBIL, Iraq, June 24 Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:08am EDT

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ARBIL, Iraq, June 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Iraqi Kurdistan on Tuesday to urge its leaders not to withdraw from the political process in Baghdad after their security forces took control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

"The Secretary's visit will be very important both to confer with the Kurdish leadership and also encourage them to play a very active role in this government formation process, including choosing a very strong president who can represent both Kurdish interests but also Iraqi interests," said a senior U.S. State Department official who briefed reporters. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz)

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