By John Lee.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged Iraqi leaders to put aside the country's sectarian quota system to help form of a new government.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, he said:
"In Iraq, we're watching closely as Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Kadhami enters the third week of trying to form his government.
"The Iraqi people need and deserve a government that frees the country from external intimidation, puts the prosperity of the Iraqi people first, and tackles the major challenges that continue to face Iraq.
"Iraqi leaders must put aside the sectarian quota system and make compromises that lead to government formation for the good of the Iraqi people, and for the partnership between the United States and Iraq.
"The Iraqi government, too, must heed the call from many elements of Iraqi society to bring all armed groups under state control, and we welcome steps that have been taken in the past days in that direction."
(Source: US State Dept)