Biden praises Iraqi leaders for unity against ISIL

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Associated Press

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 7:30 PM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is praising Iraq's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders for showing solidarity against al-Qaida-inspired insurgents who have plunged Iraq into violence.

Biden spoke Wednesday to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. He also spoke with Sunni leader Osama al-Nujaifi and Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani.

The White House says Biden told al-Maliki that the U.S. is ready to increase support for Iraq's fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But Biden also told al-Maliki he must promote inclusivity and address the needs of other ethnic groups.

Biden also offered sympathy to Nujaifi for death and destruction in his home province. He urged Barzani to ensure Kurdish forces coordinate closely on security with Iraqi forces.

Biden spoke to the leaders while traveling in Latin America.

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