US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Baghdad on Friday in support of the crisis currently faced by Iraqi government. Led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraq is struggling in multiple fronts – political crisis, economic collapse and the fight against Islamic State Militants.
In the visit, Kerry meet up with al-Abadi along with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.
The meeting includes discussion about the continued support of US-led coalition in Iraqi operation against the Islamic State militants. Kerry encourage the Iraqis to remain vigilant against the threat of IS despite also facing difficulties on the political and financial side.
Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi recently call out for a reform of the current cabinet by replacing them with a government of technocrats and academics. Seeking to curb government waste and corruption as well as improving public services, al-Abadi faces serious opposition behind the scenes from powerful parties relying on control of ministries for patronage and funds.
On the financial side, the recent plummet of world’s oil price also led to an economic crisis for the Iraqi government as the majority of its revenues relies on the oil market.
Despite the difficulties, Iraqi forces managed to regain significant ground north and west of Baghdad, including Ramadi and Tikrit. US President Barack Obama said earlier this week that destroying the jihadist group remains his “top priority.” while US-led coalition continues to provide support in form of airstrikes against IS as well as training and arming of the Iraqi forces.