Obama hails 'vision' of Iraqi PM at first meeting

US President Barack Obama on today hailed the "political vision" and inclusive nature of new Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi as the two leaders met for the first time.

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 25, 2014, 03:26 AM IST

United Nations: US President Barack Obama on today hailed the "political vision" and inclusive nature of new Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi as the two leaders met for the first time.

"I want to say directly to the prime minster that we fully support his political vision" and strategy of working with other countries in the Middle East, Obama said at the talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Obama spent weeks calling on Iraq's jostling political factions to unite and form a government with the capacity to heal sectarian divides tearing the country apart.

He used his talks with Abadi to portray the new prime minister as exactly the right kind of leader for Iraq as it struggles to expel radicals from the Islamic State group from its territory with the help of US air strikes.

"One of the things I am very impressed with ... Is the fact Prime Minster Abadi understands that in order for Iraq to succeed it's not just a matter of a military campaign."

"Since he took over the prime ministership he has reached out systematically to all the peoples of Iraq," Obama said, praising Abadi for orchestrating political reforms.

"Although we cannot do this for you, we can be a strong partner," Obama said.

Abadi said that it was important for Iraq's partners to quickly equip and arm Iraq's armed forces, portions of which folded in the face of the Islamic State's advance across western districts of the country.

He also said he was thankful that despite conducting military operations against IS in his country, US and allied forces had respected Iraq's territorial integrity.