WASHINGTON - US Vice President Joseph Biden on Monday once again stressed the formation of a new government in Iraq as an "integral" part of efforts to combat the Islamic State rampaging in the northern part of the country.
In a phone conversation with Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, the veep noted that political progress made in Iraq has brought about "greater regional and international support," describing the efforts to form a new government as "an integral component" of the country's broader fight against the Islamic group.
The United States, Britain, France and Germany are among countries that have stepped up support for Iraqi and Kurdish forces, including the supply of arms and ammunition, since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose policies over the years were blamed for alienating Iraq's Sunnis and Kurds and giving rise to the radical militants, agreed to step down earlier this month to make way for al-Abadi to form a new cabinet.
Al-Abadi on Monday voiced hope for a "unified vision" for a new government within next two days, vowing to seek a cabinet that "includes all Iraqi factions."
Al-Abadi told Biden of his intent to "quickly" form a new government "that is inclusive of all segments of Iraqi society and that is prepared to take concrete steps to addresses the concerns of all of Iraq's communities," the White House said in a statement.
It said Biden on Monday also spoke to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri about the quick formation of a new cabinet.
The American warplanes are continuing their air raids on targets of the Islamic State launched since Aug. 8, as the group has seized a large swath of territory in northern Iraq since June.