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Ban Ki-moon hopes new Iraq government will be inclusive

The U.N. Secretary-General welcomed on Tuesday the expected formation of a new Iraqi government under Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abbadi. Ban Ki-moon praised Iraq’s new President Fuad Massum for following Iraq’s constitution and said he hopes Abbadi will “form a broad-based government acceptable to all components of Iraqi society.” Talking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York, Ban said he supports the international humanitarian response, mainly carried out through air drops of emergency supplies, for Iraqi minorities being persecuted by the Islamic State militant group. “The plight of the Yazidis [Ezidis] and others on Mount Sinjar is especially harrowing,” said Ban. Thousands of vulnerable minorities, including Ezidis, Turkmen and Christians, have been displaced by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, according to the UN. The UN chief added that the Islamic State and its allies had become a threat to “Iraq, Syria and the region.”

“Now that this large swath of this territory has been occupied or affected by IS, we are very much concerned,” he said, pointing out “barbaric” human rights abuses allegedly carried out by the group.

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