Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrives in the country's second-largest city of Mosul on March 14, 2018. Photo: GoI
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — On a trip to Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi "saluted" all those who have liberated Nineveh from ISIS.
He arrived at an airbase in Mosul on Wednesday, surrounded by a cadre Iraqi military officers.
The premier praised the cooperation between Peshmerga and the Iraqi army, saying miracles happen when cooperation occurs.
Abadi also ceremoniously opened the newly reconstructed Old Bridge connecting East and West Mosul.
On Tuesday, the Kurdistan Regional Government and Abadi reached an agreement to reopen Kurdistan's airports to international flights contingent on the imposition of federal control.
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani welcomed the progress, calling it an "important step in the right direction" for Erbil-Baghdad relations.
Abadi from Mosul expressed that racism should be eliminated because it is dangerous.
He hailed the mosaic of Iraq, saying it has the oldest Christians in the world. He added that he hopes for all the components of Nineveh plains to coexist together and cooperate.
Nineveh province is home to Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, Yezidis and other ethno-religious components.
Abadi hoped they will succeed in rebuilding the area, which saw some of the worst destruction through the three-year ISIS conflict.
Earlier on Wednesday, Abadi attended the funeral for his bodyguard who was slain on Tuesday while making preparations for Abadi's northern visit.
Areas of Nineveh, Saladin and Kirkuk are disputed or Kurdistani and claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad. Kurdish officials blame Iraqi Security Forces for not clearing the Hawija pocket, long an ISIS stronghold.