President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will strategize about the upcoming offensive to take back the northern city of Mosul when they meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The session set for Monday comes at a critical time for Obama, who has just a few months left to make progress against the Islamic State group before passing on the conflict to his successor. The administration considers Abadi to be an improvement over the sectarian approach of predecessor Nouri al-Maliki.
Obama’s meeting with Abadi marks the start of a hectic week of diplomacy as Obama makes his final appearance as president at the UN gathering. He also plans to meet Monday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and socialize with US diplomats assigned to the UN.