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US congratulates Iraq on electing new president

Fuad Masum, the new president of Iraq and a veteran Kurdish politician, speaks during a press conference in Baghdad on July 24, 2014The United States threw its weight behind the newly elected president of Iraq, Fuad Masum, and urged him to form a “cohesive government” to help fight Islamic militants. “By taking this crucial step, the Council of Representatives has demonstrated its commitment to uniting the country according to the constitution,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, offering Washington’s congratulations on Masum’s election. “Iraq’s leaders now must take the next step in their democratic process by choosing a prime minister and forming a government,” she said in a statement as Iraq seeks to quell an offensive by militants who have seized a swathe of territory in the north of the country. “Only with an inclusive, cohesive government that represents all Iraqis can Iraq most effectively and successfully confront the urgent security and humanitarian challenges it faces in the fight against” the Islamic State (IS), Harf added.

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