US official Barbara Leaf meets with Erbil and Baghdad officials, urges national unity

BAGHDAD / ERBIL — On Wednesday, US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf held several meetings with officials in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The meetings come after her recent visit to Baghdad where she discussed the course of the recent events with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and other officials.

Leaf met President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani, President of the KRI Nechirvan Barzani, and Deputy Prime Minister of the KRI Qubad Talabani.

During the meetings, Leaf stressed the need for cooperation between the autonomous KRI and Baghdad, stressing that the two were stronger together.

In a press statement, Leaf said Iraq is on the brink of an abyss, indicating that the country’s stability and security are among the top priorities of the US.

In related news, the Sadrist Movement filed a lawsuit against former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki over comments he made in a leaked audio recording in which he accused Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr of inciting murder and accused him of seeking to cause sectarian strife in the country.

The lawsuit demanded the arrest of al-Maliki and his prevention from traveling outside the country.