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