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Obama To Meet With Iraqi PM Abadi At UN Next Week

The White House said President Barack Obama will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The September 19 meeting comes amid preparations to seize control of Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, from the Islamic State militants.

"The two leaders will have a chance to check in on the counter-ISIL campaign. Also the campaign to liberate Mosul," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said on September 16.

The United States deployed an additional 400 troops to Iraq earlier this month as local forces prepare for an assault on Iraq's second largest city.

Allied forces have been carrying out "shaping operations" around the northern city, working on an airfield near the town of Qayyarah that will provide a staging area and striking suspected IS chemical weapons facilities nearby.

Jihadists seized the city in 2014 and it is now their last major stronghold in Iraq.

Influential Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been mustering thousands-strong demonstrations to demand government reforms.

The White House also said Obama would meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly, which begins September 19.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

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