Rice in Iraq, to promote recent political gains by al-Maliki government

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Iraq and says her latest is intended to promote fresh political gains she sees to be flowing from government-led assaults on radical militias. Rice's brief, heavily guarded visit on Sunday had not been announced in advance in line with the security precautions adopted by all top US officials who visit Iraq and remain targets of anti-American insurgents five years after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Rice was seeing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the country's Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, and other top officials. She was honoring Americans killed in the Green Zone, the protected compound that houses the US embassy and much of the Iraqi central government.