U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has reassured Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki that U.S. strategy in Afghanistan will not come at the
expense of the U.S.-Iraq bilateral relationship.
The White House issued a statement saying Biden spoke with Mr. Maliki
by phone Tuesday to discuss U.S. President Barack Obama's decision on
the way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr. Obama announced late Tuesday the deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
Biden also commended the Iraqi prime minister's efforts to solve the
impasse over the much-delayed Iraqi electoral law. The U.S. vice
president reiterated his call for an arrangement that would allow for
national elections to be held soon.
Iraqi leaders are trying to reach a compromise on the law, that must be
passed before a vote can be held. Iraqi elections officials say
elections can not be held in January, as previously planned.
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi has threatened to veto the
electoral law a second time unless it is amended to give more
parliamentary representation to Iraqis who fled abroad during the
fighting, most of whom are members of Iraq's Sunni minority.