Biden urges Iraq leaders to resolve differences

December 21, 2011 01:50

WASHINGTON - US Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Council of Representatives Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi on Tuesday and expressed concern about the political climate in Baghdad, the White House said.

Biden, who visited Iraq earlier this month ahead of the pullout of US forces, said the United States was monitoring conditions in Iraq closely and remained committed to a long-term strategic partnership.

"The vice president also stressed the urgent need for the prime minister and the leaders of the other major blocs to meet and work through their differences together," the White House said in a statement.

The issuing of an arrest warrant for Iraq's vice president and rising ethnic tensions have raised questions about the stability of the country just days after US troops withdrew, marking the end of a nearly nine-year war.

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