Iraqi prime minister makes first visit to UAE

The talks focused on responses to extremism and terrorism and efforts to support regional security

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday made his first visit to the United Arab Emirates since taking office in early September as he seeks to expand cooperation with the wealthy, Western-allied Gulf nation.

The Emirates, a seven-state federation that includes the oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi and the regional commercial hub of Dubai, is among the most prominent Arab members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group that has seized territory in Iraq and Syria. The UAE has carried out airstrikes against the militants and hosts air bases used by other coalition members.

The Iraqi premier was greeted on arrival by the Abu Dhabi crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and thanked the Emirati official for his country’s support in the fight against the Islamic State group, according to a statement from al-Abadi’s office.

Their talks focused on responses to extremism and terrorism, efforts to support regional security and the importance of economic, trade and industrial cooperation, according to Emirati state news agency WAM.

Sheikh Mohammed assured al-Abadi that his country supports all efforts to ensure Iraq’s security and safeguard its territorial integrity, WAM reported.

The crown prince is an influential figure in the Emirates. He is next-in-line to succeed his half-brother, Emirati President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has been out of the public spotlight since suffering a stroke earlier this year.

Abadi was also expected to also meet Dubai’s ruler and Emirati and Iraqi businessmen during his visit.

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