Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Thursday arrived in Erbil, capital of northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, for the first time since last year’s ill-fated referendum on regional independence.
Al-Abadi arrived in Erbil from Sulaymaniyah, the Kurdish region’s second largest city, which he visited Wednesday.
He was received at Erbil’s international airport on Thursday by Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
Al-Abadi is hoping to secure another term as prime minister at the head of the Victory Alliance (Tahaaluf al-Nasr), a Shia political bloc, in May parliamentary polls.
In his electoral campaign, al-Abadi has noted his leading role in Iraq’s recent victories against the Daesh terrorist group, the thwarting of last year’s Kurdish regional independence project, and his ongoing anti-corruption drive.