Biden to discuss troop reduction in surprise Iraq visit
U.S. vice president to meet Iraqi PM, president amidst continuing attempts to form new government following the March parliamentary election.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has arrived on a surprise visit in Iraq where he will meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani, the White House said Saturday.
The talks will focus on the stalled formation of a new government following the March parliamentary election in Iraq.
The polls, in which the Iraqiya List of former prime minister Iyad Allawi had finished only two seats ahead of al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition, have resulted in an ongoing row over which side would head the new government.
Biden is also due to discuss the security situation in Iraq. The U.S. plans to reduce its troops in the country down to 50,000 by the end of August.
During his visit, which had not been announced due to security reasons, Biden also wants to celebrate the U.S. national holiday July 4 with the US forces in the country, the White House said.