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Published: Thursday June 19, 2014 MYT 8:10:09 AM
Updated: Thursday June 19, 2014 MYT 8:38:47 AM

Biden calls three Iraqi leaders to urge unity against ISIL insurgents

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki walks to cast his ballot during parliamentary election in Baghdad April 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki walks to cast his ballot during parliamentary election in Baghdad April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with three key Iraqi leaders on Wednesday to urge unity against insurgents led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to emphasise the need to form an inclusive government after national elections held on April 30, the White House said.

Biden spoke separately with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as well as Maliki's Sunni rival, parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, and Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

"In each call, the vice president also stressed the need for national unity in responding to the ISIL threat against all Iraqi communities, for coordination on security issues going forward, and for moving forward with urgency in forming a new government under the constitution," the White House said in a statement about the phone calls.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton)

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