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Nouri Maliki

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi faces big obstacles on road to rebuild war-torn nation

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi faces big obstacles on road to rebuild war-torn nation

At first glance, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi appears to be a strange fit to lead a country that has seen almost 40 years of continuous war. Unlike his predecessor Nouri Maliki, a Shiite whose sectarian excesses fueled the rise of Islamic State, Abadi is a man who would prefer to avoid confrontation.

Though he presided over the battlefield defeat of Islamic State (Iraqi troops are preparing for an assault on their remaining enclaves), he has stuck to a neutral course, steered the country away from involvement in regional conflicts even while working with the U.S. and Iran — who are archenemies — to prevent Iraq’s breakup.

But with Baghdad’s coffers almost empty, he now...

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