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Obama Pledges $200 Million to Iraq in Humanitarian Aid

The meeting was also an opportunity to make clear where each nation stands.
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/ Source: NBC News

The White House is pledging $200 million more in humanitarian aid to Iraq to help people displaced in the fight against ISIS.

President Barack Obama promised the assistance Tuesday during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. The two leaders met at the White House to discuss the destabilizing influence that ISIS militants have had on the region.

Abadi had wanted to gauge how much support his country might get from the Obama administration as Iraq continues to try to rebuff ISIS encroachment in the region.

Obama wanted to highlight what the administration sees as a successful approach to conflicts in the region and also see whether Abadi is following up on his pledge to create an inclusive government.

Both sides said they were satisfied with the progress.

“Abadi has kept true to his commitments, so we had an in-depth discussion about ways to partner together,” Obama told reporters.

The president said the two leaders also discussed how the U.S. could further support Iraq “in shaping an inclusive government agenda." The president underscored a mutual interest in defeating ISIS.

Abadi, speaking through an interpreter, said that though Iraq faces violence from terrorists, the country had made tremendous strides — partly with the help of the U.S.

Abadi had earlier told reporters that increased training and U.S. strikes have helped the effort to push back ISIS militants, but that additional international support would result in even greater gains.

“We are working with neighbors and the international community to face this evil,” Abadi said, adding: “There's a real working democracy in Iraq that is unique in the region. These are real successes and make sacrifices of the U.S. worthwhile.”

Both leaders also stressed the importance of bringing all Iraqi fighters under the control of the nation’s armed forces in order to assure a unified effort and accountability in cases of human rights violations.

Obama and Abadi also "discussed Iran extensively" and made clear the expectation that "any foreign assistance helping to defeat ISIS had to go through the Iraqi government.”


— Halimah Abdullah