August 11, 2014 / 7:17 AM / 3 years ago

Kerry says formation of Iraqi government critical for stability

SYDNEY, Aug 11 (Reuters) - 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 Consultations (AUSMIN).

“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

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