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Iraqi Leader Delays Trip To China To Focus On Reform, Security

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi postponed a planned visit to China due to security developments and the need to follow up on a wide-ranging reform drive, his office said August 18.

Iraq has significant economic ties with China, especially in the oil sector, on which Baghdad is almost entirely reliant for revenue.

The visit, originally scheduled for August 19 through 21, was postponed "until further notice" due to "developments in the security situation," including operations to liberate Anbar province and Baiji from the Islamic State, as well as the need to tend to pending reform measures, the office said.

While carrying on a battle against IS, Abadi has rolled out a sweeping series of reforms this month aimed at curbing corruption and streamlining the government in response to weeks of protests and a call for drastic change from the country's top cleric.

The prime minister has moved to scrap three vice presidential posts, three deputy prime minister posts, and a third of his cabinet, among other dramatic actions in recent days.

Based on reporting by AFP