September 8, 2014 / 10:13 PM / 5 years ago

Kerry says formation of new Iraqi government a 'major milestone'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the formation of a new, inclusive Iraqi government was “a major milestone” for the country as it fights Islamic State militants.

Kerry told reporters at the State Department that the government formed on Monday in Baghdad had “the potential to unite all of Iraq’s diverse communities for a strong Iraq, a united Iraq and give those communities a chance to build a future that all Iraqis desire.”

The new government headed by Haider al-Abadi, a Shi’ite Islamist, includes members of Iraq’s Shi’ite majority and its Kurdish and Sunni minorities. It faces the uphill task of unifying the country after this summer’s devastating loss of territory across northern Iraq to Islamic State fighters.

Editing by Peter Cooney; Editing by Sandra Maler

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