BAGHDAD, June 17 Iraqi Shi'ite and Sunni
political leaders made a joint call for national unity on
Tuesday after a closed-door meeting called after a week of
sectarian violence that saw Sunni militants seize northern
The leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a
Shi'ite, and Sunni Usama al-Nujaifi, the last speaker of
parliament which dissolved this month, stood apart and listened
as Maliki's predecessor Ibrahim al-Jafaari called for "defending
the state and protecting its sovereignty and dignity."
They also called for avoiding sectarian grievances and
forbade non-state actors from carrying weapons.
(Reporting by Ned Parker; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)