- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Iraq on a surprise 2-day visit, just as U.S. troops have pulled out of the country’s cities as part of President Obama’s planned withdrawal plan.

A pool reporter required to keep the trip secret for safety reasons said the visit was to “try to reestablish contact with Iraqi leaders and try to help foster efforts at political reconciliation.”

The White House said Mr. Biden will meet with Iraqi 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,” the White House said.”He will discuss with Iraqs leaders the importance of achieving the political progress that is necessary to ensure the nations long-term stability.”

Mr. Biden went on a congressional delegation to the region last winter, after winning the vice presidency but while he was still a senator and before being sworn in.

His son, Beau, is serving in Iraq with the Delaware National Guard.

Mr. Obama stopped in Iraq for a brief visit in April.

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