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Monday, June 23, 2014

Kerry Urges Political Reform In Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry meet at the Prime Minister's Office in Baghdad on June 23, 2014. Kerry was in Baghdad to push for Iraqi unity and stability, as Sunni militants swept through western towns abandoned by the security forces. (Brendan Smilalowski/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meet at the Prime Minister’s Office in Baghdad on June 23, 2014. (Brendan¬†Smilalowski/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the fate of Iraq may be decided over the next week and is largely dependent on whether its leaders meet a deadline for starting to build a new government.

Kerry on Monday met with top officials from Iraq’s bitterly divided Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political coalitions during a quick trip to Baghdad.

He said each of the Iraqi officials – including Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – committed to seat the new parliament by July 1 as the constitution requires.

Iraq’s leaders have in the past delayed decisions on how to divide power.

Al-Maliki is facing growing calls for his resignation as disgruntled Sunnis say they do not believe he will give them a greater voice in the government.

NPR’s Michele Keleman discusses the latest with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

Guest:


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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