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.

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