Kerry visits Baghdad to support Iraqi leaders

Kerry-visits-BaghdadBaghdad,(IANS) The US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Baghdad on Friday that no US troops will be sent to Iraq, urging for a “unified and functioning” Iraqi government amid the ongoing anti-terror war against the Islamic State (IS).

Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Friday for an unannounced visit. He was received by his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari, before meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Xinhua reported.

During the meetings, the two sides discussed bilateral relations in addition to security and political developments in Iraq, as well as the war against the IS terrorist group.

“It is important to have stability and it is important to have a unified and functioning government as soon as possible,” Kerry told reporters, referring to the significance of Abadi’s reform plan to addresses significant security, economic, and political challenges.

Kerry described Abadi’s effort to reshuffle his cabinet and the political crisis in Iraq as an “internal matter.” However, he suggested that all Iraqi factions “must put sectarian or personal interests” so that the anti-IS war is not affected.

Kerry said no additional US troops are required in Iraq and “there was no request from Prime Minister Abadi” for the troops.

“IS’s days are numbered,” Kerry said, adding, “We will succeed. And the evidence on the ground suggests that we are in fact doing that now.”

Meanwhile, the top US diplomat also said there is still significant work remained, including the long-delayed offensive to drive the extremist militants out of the northern city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

Medaram Jathara

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