US envoy to examine Iraq's stability as Sunni insurgency threatens Shiite government


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WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to the Mideast this weekend to discuss Iraq's stability as a raging Sunni Muslim insurgency threatens the Shiite-led government.

The U.S. is offering limited assistance to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki but wants him to take dramatic steps to soothe Sunnis who say they have been shut out from his government.

The State Department said Friday Kerry will meet next week with officials in Amman, Jordan, on the border with Iraq.

Officials had said that Kerry planned to visit Iraq soon but did not say when.

Kerry will also travel to Paris to meet with officials from Arab Gulf nations to discuss Iraq and Syria. And he will stop in Brussels for a NATO ministerial meeting.

His trip is scheduled from June 22-27.

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