Iraq Seeks to Ease Tensions ahead of PM’s Meeting with Biden 

Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Nechervan Barzani (right), Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani (center) and former Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. (AFP file photo) 
Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Nechervan Barzani (right), Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani (center) and former Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. (AFP file photo) 
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Iraq Seeks to Ease Tensions ahead of PM’s Meeting with Biden 

Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Nechervan Barzani (right), Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani (center) and former Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. (AFP file photo) 
Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Nechervan Barzani (right), Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani (center) and former Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. (AFP file photo) 

The State Administration Coalition in Iraq announced its complete support to Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani's upcoming visit to the United States where he will meet with President Joe Biden.

Sudani sponsored the coalition’s meeting that was held at the government palace and attended by Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political leaders. The meeting was also notably attended by a prominent leader of the armed factions, Abu Alaa al-Walae, demonstrating that the truce between the government and groups remains in place.

Sudani is set to discuss several key issues related to Iraq’s ties with the US that have been nothing short of tumultuous since the US invasion 21 years ago.

The PM is seeking to resolve internal disputes so that he can dedicate himself to facing the Americans, who are banking on these disputes to continue to maintain influence in Iraq.

An informed Iraqi source told Asharq Al-Awsat that officials at the State Administration Coalition meeting held frank discussions over the future of relations between Iraq and Washington and the US-led anti-ISIS coalition.

The meeting clearly backed Sudani’s visit to the US and focused on security and relations between Baghdad and Washington whereby the state would be allowed to impose its control over all aspects of the country.

Sudani is hoping that his visit will be more successful than those carried out by previous PMs, who had headed to the US with various agendas and goals.

His predecessor Mustafa al-Kadhimi had paid two visits to the US during his relatively short two-and-a-half-year tenure.

Separately, Kurdish forces expressed their support to the outcomes of the visit carried out by Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Nechervan Barzani to Baghdad.

Barzani met with several senior officials, including Sudani.

Iraqi President Abdullatif Rashid stressed on Monday the need for cooperation between the Baghdad and Erbil governments so that they can overcome all disputes.

He also underlined the need for parliamentary elections to be held in Kurdistan.

Barzani and his accompanying delegation met with members of the pro-Iran Shiite Coordination Framework and the State Administration Coalition.



Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
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Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)

Yemen's Houthis will continue their military operations and escalate them "in quality and quantity" in support of Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, the Iran-backed group's leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The group have been attacking ships in the Red Sea region since November, forcing shippers to re-route cargo to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

The group later expanded the scope of its attacks to the Indian Ocean and said it would also target any ships heading towards Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea.