Biden in Iraq
Politics 7/2/2009 8:06:00 PM
WASHINGTON, July 2 (KUNA) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in Iraq Thursday in a surprise visit to that country, it was announced here.
The U.S. media reported that Biden is in Iraq and is expected to meet there with several officials including General Ray Odierno, commander of US forces in Iraq and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill.
This visit comes after the White House announced on Monday, the day of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraqi towns and cities, that Biden was tapped to oversee political reconciliation among Iraqi factions.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that U.S. President Barack Obama asked Biden to work with Odierno and Hill on mending fences in Iraq, as well as "working with the Iraqis toward overcoming their political differences and achieving the type of reconciliation that we all understand has yet to fully take place, but needs to take place." The office of the Vice President confirmed that Biden has arrived in Iraq and will be visiting U.S. troops.
It added that he will also meet with Iraqi leaders, including President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Speaker of the Council of Representatives Ayad Al-Samarrai. "The Vice President will reiterate the United States commitment to fully implement the Security Agreement and the Strategic Framework Agreement and to carry out President Obamas plan to draw down U.S. forces," his office said.
It added that he will discuss with Iraqs leaders the "importance of achieving the political progress that is necessary to ensure the nations long-term stability."
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