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Biden discusses troop withdrawals with Iraq leader

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Associated Press - January 13, 2009 6:03 AM ET

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi officials say Vice President-elect Joe Biden has told them that the incoming U.S. administration wants a responsible troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says Biden delivered that message Tuesday in talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on the second day of his visit to Iraq.

A new security agreement provides for a complete U.S. troop pullout by 2012.

The spokesman says Biden told al-Maliki that President-elect Barack Obama is committed to withdrawing troops from Iraq but in a manner that does not risk recent security gains.

Al-Dabbagh says Biden traveled later to the northern city of Kirkuk where tensions among Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen have raised tensions.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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