Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly debate on Monday to talk about the region’s ongoing battles against the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.
Abadi faces an Islamic State core group that continues to expand throughout its center of operations in Iraq and Syria. Sisi’s Egypt is combating a growing ISIS-affiliated insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.
“Yesterday evening, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, president of Egypt, to discuss combating ISIS and the outcome of political reforms made by Abadi in Iraq,” Abadi’s office said in a statement. “Both sides emphasized the significance of strengthening bilateral political, economic and security relations in terms of combating the terrorists,” the statement added.
Abadi stressed the importance of Arab allies uniting to fight against the various regional extremist groups.
“The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, reaffirmed his commitment to the unity of Iraq and its government in fighting the terror. He wished that political reforms would rebuild a strong and new Iraq,” the statement read.
Egypt’s Sisi spoke at the General Assembly debate Tuesday, urging that the Islamic extremists’ “monopoly on Islam” must come to an end. He warned that darkness “lingers over the Middle East,” but added that “hope and hard work” could “illuminate the path towards the future.”
Sisi announced Tuesday that Egypt would be launching a new initiative in coordination with the UN called “Hope and Action for a New Direction,” or HAND. “This is indeed the hand that Egypt extends as part of its contribution to defeating the forces of extremism and the ideas they seek to spread,” the Egyptian president stated. By presenting the truth, extremist interpretations of Islam will fall to the wayside, he urged.
Meanwhile, Abadi is set to speak on Wednesday afternoon at the United Nations session in New York.