(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The White House stressed Tuesday the importance that Iraqi political leaders work together to unify the country in the face of the threat posed by ISIL, the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant
White House Spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters "it is important that Iraq's new parliament convened today. But it continues to be imperative that Iraq's new leaders move forward with the extreme urgency that the current situation deserves." He stressed that Iraq "is facing an existential threat that's posed by ISIL," adding "that extremist organization has carried out grotesque acts of violence, has perpetrated terrible acts of terrorism across the countryside and poses a broader threat to that country
"As the pressure increases, it's important for the leaders of that country to stand up, to work together to unify the country in the face of that threat," he remarked
He noted that there is "a rather tenuous security situation in that country right now, but that tenuous security situation is not going to be resolved solely through military action." He affirmed "the underlying root problem here is ensuring that every citizen in Iraq feels as if they have a stake in that country's future and that country's success." Earnest reiterated the importance for the political leaders of Iraq "to come together and to act in line with the constitution, to quickly form a government and set about governing that country in an inclusive way." He noted that by doing that, they can "adequately face down the threat that's posed by ISIL and, in doing so, will have the strong support of the international community, including the United States of America
"The fact that an Iraqi parliament convened today is evidence that opportunity exists, and what we are urging Iraq's government to do is to capitalize on that opportunity, to put the interests of that nation first and unify the country as it confronts the very serious threat posed by ISIS," he stressed
For her part, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters in her briefing "Iraq leaders must form a government and that's an inclusive government and in fact going forward govern in an inclusive way." She added "we are today providing assistance. We're continuing. We're ramping up our assistance, because the threat is so serious.