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Sunnis, Kurds abandon Iraq parliament after no replacement for Maliki named

BAGHDAD: Sunnis and Kurds abandoned the first meeting of Iraq's new parliament on Tuesday after Shi'ites failed to name a prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki, wrecking hopes that a unity government would be swiftly built to save Iraq from collapse. The United States, United Nations, Iran and Iraq's own Shi'ite clergy have pushed hard for politicians to come up with an inclusive government to save the country as Sunni insurgents bear down on Baghdad. But with Shi'ites failing to name a prime minister, Sunnis and Kurds…

Saudi king tells Kerry he will press Sunnis to join Iraq government

SHANNON Ireland: ¬†Saudi King Abdullah pledged in talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to use his influence to encourage Sunni Muslims to join a new, more inclusive Iraqi government to better combat an Islamist insurgency, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday. After a week of frenetic diplomacy by Kerry tackling the threat of Iraq's disintegration, Abdullah's assurance marked a significant shift from Riyadh's insistence on the removal of Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Muslim. The U.S. official…

U.S. considers airstrikes on Iraq, holds talks with Iran

MOSUL/WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama considered options for military action to support Iraq's besieged government on Monday, and U.S. and Iranian officials held talks to stabilize the region, which has been roiled by the advance of Sunni rebels toward Baghdad. Obama, who discussed the crisis with his top national security advisers on Monday evening, has made U.S. action contingent on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's taking steps to broaden his Shi'ite-dominated government. "The President will continue to consult…

Iraq insurgent advance slows, U.S. sends carrier to Gulf

An offensive by insurgents that threatens to dismember Iraq seemed to slow on Saturday after days of lightning advances as government forces regained some territory in counter-attacks, easing pressure on the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad. As Iraqi officials spoke of wresting back the initiative against Sunni militants, neighboring Shi'ite Iran held out the prospect of working with its longtime U.S. arch-enemy to help restore security in Iraq. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday he was reviewing military options,…