Vice President Joe Biden spoke about the importance of Iraq quickly forming a new government during phone calls on Saturday with Masoud Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, and Osama al-Nujaifi, the Speaker of the previous session of Iraq's Council of Representatives.
Biden and Barzani agreed on the importance of forming a new Iraqi government as quickly as possible, consistent with the timelines set forth in Iraq's constitution, said the announcements by the Office of the Vice President.
"They confirmed that one of the new government's key tasks will be to address long-standing disputes between the central and regional governments consistent with the Iraqi constitution," the statement said.
Toward this end, the two leaders agreed that any territorial dispute arising due to an exigency from the current crisis must be resolved peacefully, in a fair and transparent manner, and in full consultation with all communities, it said.
They also agreed that any such process should be undertaken only pursuant to the mechanisms set forth in the Iraqi constitution, it said. "The Vice President offered his sympathy for Kurdish Pesh merga fighters recently killed in battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), as well as all Iraqi soldiers fighting the same enemy, and he encouraged all political forces to unite against this serious threat to every component of Iraq," the statement said.
In a separate call to al-Nujaifi, Biden underscored U.S. support for Iraq in its efforts to isolate and defeat ISIL, which is "a threat to all Iraqis," the announcement said.
"The Vice President commended Nujaifi for his patriotism in putting aside his candidacy for a new term as speaker of the parliament in an effort to move Iraq forward and accelerate the government formation process," it said.
Both leaders agreed that "all Iraqi political forces must work to form a new government that enjoys a broad national acceptance as rapidly as possible," it said.