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Biden urges 'unified, federal and democratic Iraq' to Abadi, Barzani

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during an event to bring awareness to sexual assault on college campuses in Las Vegas, Nevada April 7, 2016. REUTERS/David Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made separate calls on Monday to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani to underscore the need for cooperation amid the country’s political crisis, the White House said.

“The vice president conveyed continued U.S. support for a unified, federal, and democratic Iraq, and encouraged close cooperation between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government as they take steps to strengthen political unity and economic stability,” the White House said in a statement.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney