UN warns Iraq of ‘chaos’ if no political progress

BAGHDAD (AP) — The special U.N. envoy to Iraq is urging Iraqi lawmakers to overcome their deep divisions and quickly form a new government. He says if they don’t unite and confront a surging militant threat, the country could plunge into chaos.

Iraq’s new parliament is scheduled to hold its second session tomorrow. Its first session failed to make any progress toward deciding on a prime minister, president and speaker of parliament, the first steps toward forming a new government.

The U.N envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, is calling on lawmakers to attend the meeting and forge an agreement on new leaders. In his words, “Now is not the time for mutual accusations, now is the time for moving forward and compromising in the interest of the Iraqi people.”

An insurgent blitz over the past month has driven Iraq into its deepest crisis since the last American troops left in 2011, raising the specter of a nation divided along ethnic and sectarian lines.

Sunni militants have swept through most of the country’s predominantly Sunni areas in the north and west, and fighting continues to rage.

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