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 apartment building.
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 Sunni communities.