Wire: Biden Says Violence Could Cause US to Abandon Iraq
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, July 4, 2009 -- Newswire services Saturday morning reported that Vice President Joseph Biden told Iraqi leaders that the path to a secure peace lies in uniting ethnic and sectarian groups and said the U.S. may disengage from their country if it reverts to sustained violence.
Bloomberg.com reported that Biden said he and President Barack Obama "appreciate that Iraq has traveled a great distance over the past year, but there is a hard road ahead if Iraq is going to find lasting peace and stability," according to a press pool report of the vice president’s visit to Iraq.
Biden was concluding a two-day visit in Baghdad yesterday, where he held talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other leaders. Obama sent Biden to Iraq to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to help the country maintain its security while the U.S. military pullout proceeds there.
Biden told Maliki that if Iraq fell into a period of sectarian violence or engaged in ethnic fighting, such a step would change the nature of U.S. engagement, a senior administration official said, according to the report. The aide did not offer specifics about the change, it said.
The U.S. withdrew combat forces from Iraqi cities on June 30 on a path toward a complete withdrawal of troops by 2011.
(Report from newswire sources.)
Source: Biden Says Violence Could Cause U.S. to Disengage From Iraq
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