Ban urges Iraq to form coalition government

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Secretary-General with Prime Minister of Iraq. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The UN Secretary-General has urged authorities in Iraq to form an inclusive government in order to overcome the "existential threat" the country is facing.

Iraq is plagued by ethnic and sectarian divisions.

Mr Ban Ki-moon was speaking in Baghdad where he met with the country's Prime Minister and the local press.

The country has a new president and Speaker of parliament.

Farhan Haq is the UN Spokesperson.

"Earlier, in Baghdad, the Secretary-General had what he described as a good, constructive meeting with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. They discussed the security crisis, the government formation process, relations between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and relations between Iraq and Kuwait."

The UN Chief's visit comes at a time when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) armed group controls more than a third of the country's territory.

Thousands of people have died in these attacks and over a million others have been displaced.

The Secretary-General has also travelled to the northern city of Erbil, in the Kurdish region, where Christian Mosuls have taken refuge from ISIL attacks.

Earlier, Mr Ban was in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, south of Baghdad, where he thanked the Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani for his support to civilians in the current conflict.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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