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US congratulates Iraqi parliament on new speaker

Iraqi newly elected parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi is seen in Baghdad on July 15, 2014US Vice President Joe Biden congratulated violence-plagued Iraq for electing a new parliamentary speaker Tuesday, a move Washington called an important first step in forming a government after extensive delays. MPs in Iraq’s fractious legislature elected Salim al-Juburi parliament speaker, a post traditionally held by a Sunni Arab that must be filled before the process of forming a government can proceed. Iraqi MPs have been under increasing international pressure to put aside their differences and work to counter a major onslaught by the jihadist-led Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that has seized considerable territory north and west of Baghdad. Biden made it clear that Washington was ready to work closely with the new speaker.

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