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Kerry warns Mideast of raising tensions in Iraq

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BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning Mideast nations against taking new military action in Iraq that might heighten already-tense sectarian divisions.

Kerry, at a meeting of diplomats from NATO nations, was referring to Syrian airstrikes and Iranian surveillance drones in Iraq. He said Baghdad needs to take steps to ensure that Iraq's military can defend the country from a violent Sunni insurgency without relying on outside forces. The U.S. is sending 300 military advisers.

He said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears to be standing by his commitment to start building a new government that fully represents its Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish population.

But he said the U.S. is watching closely to make sure any new political process does not repeat past mistakes of excluding Iraq's minorities.

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