U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday expressed confidence that
attempts by insurgents to destabilize Iraq through attacks on civilians
During a Baghdad news conference with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki, Biden reaffirmed Washington's commitment to a security pact (, the Strategic Framework Agreement,)
which calls for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011. He said
the recent spike in violence will not change that timetable.
Mr. Maliki described Wednesday's talks as positive and said they also
focused on boosting Iraq's economy and the fight against terrorism.
After the two officials wrapped up their talks, insurgents fired at
least two rockets at Baghdad's "Green Zone" which houses Iraqi
government offices and the U.S. embassy. No casualties were reported.
After the U.S. vice president arrived in Baghdad Tuesday, militants
fired four rockets at the Green Zone, killing two civilians in a nearby
Biden has been talking with a range of Iraqi political leaders about
Iraq's plans to hold parliamentary elections in January, as well as
ongoing violence in the north.
On Tuesday, Biden said holding successful elections is necessary for
Iraq to resolve political differences among its Kurdish, Shi'ite and