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Obama, Biden Meet With Iraqi Parliament Speaker

FILE - Salim al-Jabouri, speaker of Iraq's Council of Representatives, met Friday with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in Washington and thanked the United States for its humanitarian contributions to his country.

President Barack Obama stopped by a meeting Friday between Vice President Joe Biden and Salim al-Jabouri, the speaker of Iraq's Council of Representatives.

The White House said Obama and Biden commended Jabouri for his leadership in parliament and his efforts to bolster Iraq's democracy and national unity. They also discussed efforts to degrade and destroy Islamic State militants, including the importance of mobilizing tribal fighters in support of Baghdad's Anbar liberation plan.

Jabouri thanked the United States for its humanitarian contribution in response to a U.N. appeal for Iraq. Biden also announced an additional $9 million in humanitarian assistance for Iraq, bringing the U.S. total to $416 million since 2014.

Jabouri also met Friday with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the Pentagon to discuss progress in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The Obama administration on Wednesday authorized 450 additional troops for Iraq, bringing the number of U.S. military personnel there to 3,500. In an interview with VOA on Thursday, Jabouri called for more international help.

"The decision by the U.S. administration is quite a good step for us as an indication of the will and serious desire of the United States in this fight against the Islamic State," he said. "But obviously, it is not at a level needed for final victory in this war soon, so the Iraqis are wishing for more assistance and solidarity of the international community and specifically from the United States."

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