US Secretary of State John Kerry said Iraq's new leadership faces big challenges. Julie Noce reports.
Thousands of Yazidi refugees continue their trek through the mountains of northern Iraq in search of safety. A fundamentalist group of Sunni militants known as Islamic State have been closing in on the region. They consider the Yazidis to be quote 'devil worshippers' and have ordered them to conver to Islam or die. The militant group has been taking advantage of political unrest in Baghdad to make gains, but that may be changing. A new Iraqi Prime Minister was named yesterday in a move that Western leaders hope will help stem the fighting. During a news conference in Sydney Australia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed cautious optimism in the new leadership. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING: "The new Iraqi leadership has a very difficult challenge. It has to regain the confidence of its citizens by governing inclusively, but also by taking steps to demonstrate their resolve. And we're going to continue to stand with the Iraqi people during this time of transition." Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel are in Australia to finalise an agreement between the two countries to bolster the U.S.'s air and navy presence.