US Secretary of State John Kerry visits Iraq

By John Lee.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Iraq on Friday to show support for its prime minister.

Kerry's visit "will underscore our strong support for the Iraqi government as it addresses significant security, economic, and political challenges," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

A senior U.S. official in Washington told reporters that Kerry plans to "encourage the Iraqis, while they're dealing with the cabinet reshuffle, not to lose sight of the need to stay focused on the fight against" Islamic State, he added, stressing the need "to plan steadily and carefully" to retake Mosul.

As well as meeting Abadi, Kerry plans talks with Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and with the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, the State Department said.

(Source: Reuters, US State Dept)

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