Obama Talks Mideast Problems on G7 Sidelines

Obama Talks Mideast Problems on G7 SidelinesObama Talks Mideast Problems on G7 Sidelines

US President Barack Obama huddled with allies Monday on the sidelines of an international summit to address pressing Mideast problems while trying to convince European leaders to maintain sanctions against Russia.

Obama participated in the final day of the Group of Seven summit under the strain of an intimidating list of global pressures and little signs of movement to address them among the world’s largest industrial nations, AP reported.

Obama met privately with French President Francois Hollande in the talks with Iran over its nuclear program. They also discussed climate change, the threat from IS militants, trade and instability in Libya.

Obama also planned to consult Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi as he struggles against an increasing threat from the IS. Abadi has called for more assistance from the US and its partners, and he was scheduled to address G7 leaders during a closed session on terrorism.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama wants to look for “more efficient ways that we can offer assistance to Iraqi security forces” and he expects that will be part of the discussion among the G7, which also includes Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.

 Britain to Expand Iraq Military Training

The UK will send an additional 125 military trainers to Iraq to counter the rising threat from the IS, Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday at the G7 summit.

The prime minister’s office said the military personnel were being provided at the request of Iraq’s prime minister. They will chiefly help Iraqi forces learn how to deal with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

The extra soldiers to train Iraq’s military brings the total number of British troops operating there to around 200. The UN has about 3,000 troops in Iraq and about 650 of them are military advisers and trainers.

In March, several dozen British troops were sent to the region to train Kurdish fighters who are battling the IS.

On Sunday, Cameron described IS as the “biggest threat” at the two-day summit of the G7 in Germany. Following the 2003 war in Iraq, Britain withdrew the last of its forces from the country in 2011.

Meanwhile in Iraq, government troops backed by Shia militias recaptured key parts of the northern refinery town of Beiji from the IS on Sunday, Brig. Gen. Nassir al-Fartousi told state TV.