- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Defense Secretary Ash Carter pressed reluctant defense ministers from six Gulf nations Wednesday to provide more economic and political support to Iraq to help its fight against the Islamic State group.

In a series of sessions, Carter urged the Arab countries to specifically help with the reconstruction of cities of Ramadi and Hit as well as Anbar province. Those are areas that have been won back from the militant group but left in near-shambles. Carter says helping the Iraqi people go home and rebuild their lives would lead to a more lasting victory and promote a more inclusive government.

The defense ministers’ meeting was aimed at laying the groundwork for a summit Friday between President Barack Obama and heads of state from the Arab countries.

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