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Vice President Biden on surprise trip to Iraq

November 29, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Vice President Joe Biden meets with Commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq General Lloyd Austin and U.S. ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Nov. 29, 2011.
Vice President Joe Biden meets with Commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq… (Saad Shalash / Reuters )

Reporting from Washington — Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Baghdad for a surprise visit ahead of the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq.

Biden arrived at Baghdad International Airport at 6:32 p.m. local time and traveled directly to the U.S. Embassy. It's Biden's eighth trip to Iraq since being elected vice president.

According to the White House, Biden will co-chair a meeting of the U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee and meet with senior Iraqi officials during his time there. He'll also speak at an event marking American sacrifices in the more than eight-year conflict.

President Obama announced in October that the remaining 40,000 U.S. troops would return home by year's end, a fulfillment of his campaign pledge to end the conflict.

The stop comes ahead of scheduled visits by Biden to Greece and Turkey.

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