SHANNON, Ireland - Saudi King Abdullah pledged in talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry to use his influence to encourage Sunni Muslims to join a new, more inclusive Iraqi government to better combat an Islamist insurgency, a senior US official said on Saturday.



After a week of frenetic diplomacy by Kerry tackling the threat of Iraq's disintegration, Abdullah's assurance marked a significant shift from Riyadh's insistence on the removal of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Muslim.



The US official said the Saudi monarch voiced deep concern to Kerry about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insurgents who have overrun much of northern Iraq and its border with Syria and thrust southward, approaching the Saudi frontier.

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