Archive for the ‘Nouri al-Maliki’ Category

Cheney warns against large cuts in Iraq

March 18, 2008
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – Vice President Dick Cheney warned Monday against large U.S. troop cuts that could jeopardize recent security gains in Iraq, as he marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion with a two-day visit to the country.

Iraq's President Jalal Talabani (R) sits next to U.S. Vice President ...
Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani (R) sits next to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in his office in Baghdad March 17, 2008.
(Mohammed Jalil/Pool/Reuters) 

Cheney used words like “phenomenal” and “remarkable turnaround” to describe a drop in violence in Iraq, and he hailed recently passed legislation aimed at keeping Iraq on a democratic path.

“It would be a mistake now to be so eager to draw down the force that we risk putting the outcome in jeopardy, and I don’t think we’ll do that,” Cheney said after spending the day zigzagging through barricades and checkpoints to get to meetings in and out of the heavily guarded Green Zone. He spent the night at a U.S. military base, the second overnight stay in Iraq for the vice president — the highest-ranking official to do so. Reporters accompanying him were not allowed to disclose the location. Last May, Cheney stayed at Camp Speicher, a base near former leader Saddam Hussein‘s hometown and about 100 miles north of Baghdad.

“It is good to be back in Iraq,” Cheney, dressed in a suit and dark cowboy boots, said after his meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. “It’s especially significant, I think, to be able to return this week as we mark the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the campaign that liberated the people of Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny, and launched them on the difficult but historic road to democracy.”

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McCain makes Baghdad stop; 8th Iraq trip

March 16, 2008
By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer 

BAGHDAD – Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee who has linked his political future to U.S. success in Iraq, was in Baghdad on Sunday for meetings with Iraqi and U.S. diplomatic and military officials, a U.S. government official said.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ...
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks to reporters after speaking at a town hall meeting in Springfield, Pa., Friday, March 14, 2008.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Details of McCain’s visit, which had been anticipated, were not being released for security reasons, the U.S. Embassy said. It was unclear who he met with; no media opportunities or news conferences were planned.

McCain, a strong supporter of the U.S. military mission in Iraq, is believed to be staying in the country for about 24 hours.

Senator McCain is in Iraq and will be meeting with Iraqi and U.S. officials,” said Mirembe Nantongo, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

In this image released by the U.S. Air Force, Sen. John McCain ...
In this image released by the U.S. Air Force, Sen. John McCain is seen at Baghdad’s International Airport to visit the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, March 16, 2008. McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee who has linked his political future to U.S. success in Iraq, was in Baghdad on Sunday for meetings with Iraqi and U.S. diplomatic and military officials, a U.S. government official said.
(AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway, HO)

This is the senator’s eighth visit to Iraq. He’s accompanied by Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Before leaving, McCain said the trip to the Middle East and Europe was a fact-finding venture, not a campaign photo opportunity.

The senator last met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during the Thanksgiving holiday.

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