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Kerry urges Iraq to form coalition govt.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Iraqi leaders to form a coalition government representing different religious sects and ethnic groups as soon as possible.

Kerry made the comment in Baghdad on Monday following a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

He said Iraq's future depends on the decisions leaders make in the foreseeable future, and their ability to come together to form a political coalition including Sunnis and Kurds. The current Iraqi government is dominated by Shias, including Maliki.

Kerry said that Maliki promised to convene a parliamentary session and form a new government swiftly, in line with the Iraqi constitution.

He also reported that President Barack Obama has prepared a range of options for Iraq so he can take action as necessary.

Kerry repeated his statement that Washington is keeping open the option of limited military engagement.

Jun. 23, 2014 - Updated 21:10 UTC