SYDNEY Aug 11 U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry said on Monday that the formation of an Iraqi government
was critical for stability and urged Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki not to stoke political tensions further.
Special forces loyal to al-Maliki deployed in strategic
areas of Baghdad on Sunday night after he delivered a tough
speech indicating he would not cave in to pressure to drop a bid
for a third term.
"The government formation process is critical in terms of
sustaining stability and calm in Iraq, and our hope is that Mr
Maliki will not stir those waters," Kerry told reporters in
Sydney ahead of an annual Australia-United States Ministerial
"One thing all Iraqis need to know, that there will be
little international support of any kind whatsoever for anything
that deviates from the legitimate constitution process that is
in place and being worked on now."
(Reporting By Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)