US President Barack Obama has scheduled meetings with the leaders of Iraq, Nigeria and Colombia and plans to promote trade between the U.S. and Africa as he continues his efforts to defeat the Islamic State group, the white house said Friday. Obama plans to sit down Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss progress the country has made countering the Islamic State group, a coming Iraqi military operation to take back the city of Mosul from IS militants, and a brewing humanitarian crisis inside Iraq, said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser.
Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this week while visiting Baghdad that Iraqi forces aided by the U.S.-led coalition against IS had retaken half the territory that militants once held in the country. He also announced more than $181 million in aid to address a humanitarian crisis that has festered in Iraq as a result of the insurgency. Despite a series of major defeats in recent months, IS has maintained its grip on Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
Meanwhile, North Korea continues to defy the international community with its recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Obama also plans to meet Tuesday with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, to talk about continued U.S. support for security and economic changes in the country, as well the government’s efforts to counter the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. At a summit on refugees that the president is hosting, Obama is expected to press more nations to open their borders and help double the number of refugees who are resettled around the world.
Obama will devote a portion of Wednesday, the final day of the General Assembly session, to promoting trade between the U.S. and Africa.