BEIRUT

Middle East

Biden: US would help Iraq pursue federal system

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden pauses while speaking about the killing of American journalist James Foley by ISIS militants during a roundtable on workforce development at Goodwin College, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in East Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

WASHINGTON: Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. is prepared to help Iraq pursue a federal system that would decentralize power away from Baghdad.

In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Biden says Iraq is making progress in forming a new government. But he says sectarian divisions are fueling extremist movements like the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

Biden says federalism is emerging as one approach to Iraq's future. He's alluding to a plan he proposed in 2006 that would see Iraq divided into three semi-independent regions for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

Biden says such a plan would keep Iraq united, protect local populations and ensure oil revenues are shared fairly, while squeezing ISIS.

He says the U.S. would offer assistance.

 

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