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Vice President Biden Arrives in Baghdad to Meet with Iraqi Political Leaders

Photo Courtesy - ABC News (BAGHDAD) -- Vice President Biden has arrived in Baghdad for meetings with Iraqi political leaders.

This is Biden’s seventh trip to Iraq since January 2009. He traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan already this week.

Biden is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqiyya leader Ayad Allawi, President Jalal Talabani, Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, and other political leaders.

Last month he commended Iraq’s political leaders for the formation and swearing-in of the new coalition government, led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“There are many challenges ahead, but I am convinced Iraq is up to them.  The United States stands ready to help and to strengthen even more the important partnership we have built,” Biden said in a paper statement in December.

Biden was in regular contact with Iraqi leaders over the last nine months as they struggled to form this coalition. He traveled to Baghdad in late August to mark the official end of the U.S. combat mission there and also met with Maliki and Allawi, the former prime minister who lead a Sunni-backed coalition that was jockeying for power with Maliki since the March elections.

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