Biden visits Iraq amid wave of bomb attacks

Tuesday 13 January 2009 01:00

Joe Biden, America's next vice-president, arrived in Iraq yesterday for talks. The withdrawal of 140,000 American troops is seen as a major challenge facing the incoming US administration.

He arrived hours after bombers unleashed a wave of attacks across the capital that mainly struck Iraqi security forces, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 30, a reminder of simmering instability despite better security. The visit by the long-time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came at the end of a tour of south-west Asia that included stops in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Barack Obama wants to send more troops after he withdraws them from Iraq.

The Delaware senator, who takes office with Mr Obama next week, met President Jalal Talabani at his Baghdad residence and was due to meet other officials as part of a senate delegation. No news conference was announced. Mr Biden is one of the few members of the US Senate with a high profile in Iraq, where he is known as the author of a 2006 plan to divide the country into self-governing Sunni, Shia and Kurdish enclaves. Reuters

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