Speed Reads

This just in

John Kerry arrives in Baghdad, urges Iraqis to form new government

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Monday to urge Iraqis to overcome sectarian differences to form a new, more inclusive government.

Kerry met with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and is slated to meet with leaders of various Iraqi factions as well. The New York Times reports that after leaving al-Maliki's compound, he simply remarked, "That was good." After sitting down with al-Maliki, Kerry visited Ammar al-Hakim, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a Shiite party that rivals al-Maliki's State of Law party.

"The United States would like to see the Iraqi people find leadership that is prepared to represent all of the people of Iraq," Kerry said in Cairo on Sunday, after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi in part to rally support for Iraq.

The Times reports that while choosing Iraq's leaders is not the United States' "formal position," America is urging Iraqis to form a new government quickly and create a united front against attacks from ISIS, the Sunni extremist group gaining hold in northern and western Iraq. Yesterday, ISIS snatched key border posts next to Syria and Jordan.