Kerry says it’s up to Iraqis

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says neither President Barack Obama nor the American people want to see a wholesale U.S. intervention in Iraq.

He told ABC that there’s “an opportunity for Iraq to come up with his own choice.”

Kerry, wrapping up two days of talks in Iraq, said on CBS that the U.S. “is trying to move this process forward” so that there will be “a structure in Iraq which will give us the greatest capacity for success.”

He told NBC’s “Today” show, “A united Iraq is a stronger Iraq.”

Kerry is pushing the central government in Baghdad to at least adopt new policies that would give more authority to Iraq’s minority Sunnis and Kurds. He has noted bitterness and growing impatience among all of Iraq’s major sects and ethnic groups with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Kerry met today with the president of Iraq’s Kurdish region — whose support is key to solving the country’s political crisis. Kurds represent about 20 percent of Iraq’s population. The Kurdish leader declared that “we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq.”

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APPHOTO CAIMA104: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, talks with Fuad Hussein, chief of staff for the Kurdish president, as they are accompanied by Kurdish foreign relations minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, right, and other officials at Irbil International Airport on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The president of Iraq’s ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that “we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq” as the country’s Shiite-led government considers new leadership as an immediate step to curb a Sunni insurgent rampage. The comments by Barzani came as he met with Kerry, who is pushing the central government in Baghdad to at least adopt new policies that would give more authorities to Iraq’s minority Sunnis and Kurds.(AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool) (24 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO CAIMA102: Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, right, shakes hands for photographers with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the presidential palace in Irbil on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The president of Iraq’s ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that “we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq” as the country’s Shiite-led government considers new leadership as an immediate step to curb a Sunni insurgent rampage. The comments by Barzani came as he met with Kerry, who is pushing the central government in Baghdad to at least adopt new policies that would give more authorities to Iraq’s minority Sunnis and Kurds.(AP Photo/ Brendan Smialowski, Pool) (24 Jun 2014)

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