The U.S. State Department expressed alarm about the influence of al-Qaida in Iraq after a string of mid-August bombings left at least 60 people dead and more than 200 others injured. CNN reported Thursday at least 25 people were killed and another 70 were injured in bombings across Baghdad.
July was the deadliest month in Iraq since it teetered on the brink of civil war five years ago. Gyorgy Busztin, deputy U.N. special envoy for Iraq, warned this week about the "murderous violence that aims to push the country into sectarian strife."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday with his Iraq counterpart in Washington for bilateral political and diplomatic talks.
Zebari said during a joint news conference the country was not descending back to a level of violence seen during the height of the insurgency in 2007-08.
"I'm here to inform you ... Iraq is not heading to civil or sectarian war," he said.
Zebari said he was meeting with Kerry to "seek your help and support and security cooperation."
Violence in Iraq has increased steadily since U.S. combat forces left in 2011 under the terms of a bilateral status of forces agreement.
A joint statement said both sides were committed to "close and ongoing security cooperation."
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