Saudi king, Obama call for Iraq unity govt

The leaders stressed on the importance of forming a new government that unites all of ‘Iraq’s diverse communities’

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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday reaffirmed the need for Iraq’s leaders to form a unity government amid the violence in the country.

In a telephone call, the leaders discussed the threats facing Iraq after militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group (ISIS) seized large parts of the country, according to a White House statement.

The meeting comes three days after ISIS declared a "caliphate" encompassing the entire Muslim world.

President Obama and the Saudi king Abdullah stressed on the importance of forming a new government that unites all of “Iraq’s diverse communities.”

The U.S. president also thanked the Saudi king for his $500 million pledge to help Iraqis displaced by the upsurge in violence.

“The president thanked the king for Saudi Arabia’s pledge of $500 million dollars to help alleviate the suffering of all Iraqis who have been displaced by the violence. The two leaders agreed to continue to consult closely on regional developments,” the White House said.

The country’s $500 million donation will go through the United Nations to counter Iraq’s humanitarian crisis.

Three days after ISIS declared itself a caliphate, President Obama and King Abdullah agreed to consult closely on regional developments, the White House said.

Saudi Arabia shares a 800 km border with Iraq.

Iraq has split along sectarian lines between the majority Shi’ite Muslims and the Sunni Muslim and Kurdish minorities.

Sunnis and Kurds on Tuesday walked out of the first meeting of Iraq’s new parliament, which failed to name a new prime minister as an alternative to current leader Nouri al-Maliki.

(with Reuters)

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