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Pompeo speaks to Iraqi leaders at ’this critical time’

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken with two Iraqi leaders to express support for Iraq’s efforts to form a “moderate, nationalist” government that would serve all Iraqis.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says in statements that Pompeo spoke with Iraq’s prime minister and vice president.

The results of Iraq’s elections were ratified two weeks ago, paving the way for a new parliament to convene and elect a president and a prime minister, who would form a new government. The process is complicated by political wrangling. A coalition led by a maverick Shiite cleric won the largest number of seats.

In Pompeo’s call with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY’-dahr ahl ah-BAH’-dee), he made clear “the importance of safeguarding Iraq’s sovereignty during this critical time.”