Iraqi prime minister looks to boost ties with United Arab Emirates during visit to Gulf nation

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is making his first visit to the United Arab Emirates since taking office in early September as he seeks to expand cooperation with the wealthy, Western-allied Gulf nation.

A statement from al-Abadi's office on Monday says he was greeted on arrival by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and thanked the Emirati official for his country's support in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The crown prince is an influential figure in the seven-state federation. He is next-in-line to succeed his half-brother, Emirati President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has been out of the public spotlight since suffering a stroke earlier this year.

Abadi is also expected to also meet Dubai's ruler and Emirati and Iraqi businessmen during his visit.