US VP Makes Unannounced Visit to Iraq

Posted November 29th, 2011 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Iraq on a previously unannounced visit.

A White House statement Tuesday says Biden will meet with Iraqi leaders and participate in an event to commemorate the sacrifices and accomplishments of U.S. and Iraqi troops. During this trip, he is also scheduled to travel to Turkey and Greece.

The visit to Iraq comes as American forces withdraw from the country ahead of a December 31 deadline.

About 14,000 U.S. troops remain, down from a peak of about 170,000.

President Barack Obama has said the U.S. relationship with Iraq will enter a new phase after the withdrawal is complete.

The war started in March 2003 and is one of the longest military conflicts in U.S. history. Thousands of U.S. troops have died in the conflict.