BAGHDAD: US Vice President Joe Biden opened talks in Baghdad on Thursday on an unannounced visit to Iraq, whose leadership is bogged down in a protracted political crisis even as its forces battle militants.

“The vice president has arrived in Iraq for meetings with (the) Iraqi leadership focused on encouraging Iraqi national unity and continued momentum in the fight against ISIL,” a statement from Biden’s office said, using an acronym for the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

Biden went into a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi shortly after stepping off the C-17 military transport plane that flew him to Baghdad.

Abadi discussed political, security and economic developments with Biden, the premier’s office said.

Biden’s visit comes at a time of political turmoil which has seen Iraq’s fractious political class squabble over Abadi’s efforts to replace the current government of party-affiliated ministers with a cabinet of technocrats.

Opposition to Abadi’s US-backed reform drive has sparked chaos in parliament, with lawmakers brawling in parliament, staging a sit-in and throwing water bottles towards the premier.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2016

Opinion

The rich boys
Updated 22 Sep 2021

The rich boys

Such is the toxic masculinity of these rich boys that no one is safe from it.
Going nuclear
22 Sep 2021

Going nuclear

Australia may regret its ‘forever partnership’ with the US.
Politics’ winged chariot
Updated 21 Sep 2021

Politics’ winged chariot

When others are shifting gears to election preparations, the PML-N is caught in its internal woes.

Editorial

22 Sep 2021

Interest rate hike

THE State Bank’s decision to raise its key interest rate by 25bps to 7.25pc underpins its acceptance of emerging...
PCB chief’s challenge
Updated 22 Sep 2021

PCB chief’s challenge

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has propelled fears of regional insecurity.
22 Sep 2021

No need for secrecy

THE government should not make a mountain out of the Toshakhana molehill. That would only encourage speculation of...
What’s the game?
21 Sep 2021

What’s the game?

Such brinkmanship is being fuelled by incendiary rhetoric as well as inflexible demands of a unilateral nature.
21 Sep 2021

Gas price hike

THE proposed hike of 24pc-37pc in the gas price of the top 23pc residential consumers, who account for 43pc of the...
21 Sep 2021

Green Line buses

AT long last, the first batch of vehicles for Karachi’s Green Line bus project arrived from China on Sunday,...