WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2016 —
Defense Secretary Ash Carter met today with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi today on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement released this morning.
The two leaders discussed recent progress in the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Cook said, noting that the defense secretary reinforced U.S. commitment to intensify the fight against ISIL while working closely with the government of Iraq.
Carter congratulated the prime minister on the success of the Iraqi security forces in Ramadi, but acknowledged there is still tough fighting ahead, Cook said.
“They discussed the next steps in the campaign, including the upcoming meeting of counter-ISIL coalition defense ministers in Brussels,” and emphasized the importance of maintaining pressure on ISIL forces across multiple fronts, the press secretary said.
“They also agreed that the training of local police forces will be a critical need as the fight against ISIL advances,” he said.
This meeting comes one month after Carter’s visit to Iraq to meet with U.S. service members serving in both Erbil and Baghdad, Cook noted.