Biden in Iraq as US troops end combat operations

BAGHDAD — Vice President Joe Biden returned to Iraq on Monday to mark this week's formal end to US combat operations and push the country's leaders to end a six-month post-election stalemate blocking formation of a new government.
Wednesday's ceremony will signal a shift toward a greater US diplomatic role as the military mission dwindles seven years after the American invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Underscoring the shift, officials said Biden will make a new appeal to Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to end the political deadlock and seat a new government. March 7 parliamentary elections left Iraq without a clear winner, and insurgents have exploited the uncertainty to hammer Iraqi security forces in near-daily attacks.
Biden and al-Maliki will meet Tuesday morning "to discuss the political situation and withdrawal, and Iraqis taking over responsibility for security," the prime minister's adviser, Yasin Majeed, told the Associated Press.
Subscribe for our daily newsletter
Subscribe for our daily newsletter

By subscribing I accept the terms of use and privacy policy