Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in the midst of his first official visit to the United States since taking office in September, conferred with a group of current and former top U.S. officials and other experts at the U.S. Institute of Peace today.

Pictured from left to right, Sarhang Hamasaeed, Manal Omar, Nancy Lindborg, Iraq Prime Minister Al-Abadi, William Taylor

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Allison Sturma
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in the midst of his first official visit to the United States since taking office in September, conferred with a group of current and former top U.S. officials and other experts at the U.S. Institute of Peace today.

USIP President Nancy Lindborg welcomed Prime Minister al-Abadi to the private, off-the-record meeting. The Iraqi leader was accompanied by Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S. Lukman Faily and Sadiq al-Rikabi, a member of the Iraqi Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee.

The Prime Minister met yesterday with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss continued political, economic and security cooperation between the two countries. His visit to the U.S. also includes meetings with other officials, non-government organizations and business leaders. Prime Minister al-Abadi is seeking to unify Iraqis and has urged support from regional and international partners as his country confronts the extremist group calling itself “Islamic State” and tackles a financial crisis spurred by the conflict and last year’s plunge in oil prices.

USIP has promoted constructive civic engagement and reconciliation in Iraq since 2003 by working with a range of partners across community, provincial and national levels to provide Iraqis with the tools to act as citizens and peacebuilders. Other high-level Iraqi figures to visit USIP have included former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki; Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq; federal Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch N. Shaways; the chief of staff to the president of Iraq's Kurdistan region and the regional government's minister for foreign relations; Chief Justice Madhat al-Mahmood; and influential Shia scholar Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Hakim.

USIP programs on the ground currently include supporting dialogue between tribes from Salahaddin and southern Iraqi provinces to defuse dangerous lingering tensions related to the June 2014 massacre by “Islamic State” militants in and around Camp Speicher near Tikrit; helping improve relations between communities and their justice and security institutions; and organizing PeaceTech Exchanges that bring together civic activists with technology experts who can help devise solutions to magnify the work of civil society organizations.

USIP helped develop and continues to support the Alliance of Iraqi Minorities, which nurtures ties among religious and ethnic groups for objectives such as legislative reforms and constructive collaboration on local government budgets, and the Network of Iraqi Facilitators, which during the current crisis has calmed tensions between internally displaced populations and host communities. USIP maintains a full-time presence in Iraq, working with Sanad for Peacebuilding, an Iraqi-led organization established in 2013 with the Institute’s support to continue conflict-resolution work over the longer term.

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