The Obama administration recognizes that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi “has to reach out to his neighbors,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said Thursday in response to queries about Abadi’s meetings with Iran’s top leaders.
During his visit to Tehran Abadi appears to have been accompanied by a man named by the U.S. government during the Iraqi war as responsible for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces.
Abadi is “the leader of a sovereign nation. Iran is an important neighbor,” Kirby told a daily press briefing, noting that Iraq’s longest border is with Iran.
“We recognize that he has to reach out to his neighbors. And oh, by the way, it hasn’t just been Iran; he’s traveled to other countries in the region as well, and he’s still working on getting his government up and going,” Kirby said. “And outreach to one’s neighbors is probably wise policy.”
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