Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit to Baghdad today to further encourage the Iraq government to solve its political issues:
BAGHDAD (AP) — Vice President Dick Cheney and Iraqi Prime Minister Mouri al-Maliki acknowledged problems in the pace of reducing violence in Iraq on Wednesday, but both pledged their governments would continue working together toward a solution.
“The meeting with the vice president paved a foundation for practical steps to support our efforts working on both the security front as well as the domestic political issues,” said al-Maliki as he and Cheney made brief statements to reporters.
Al-Maliki is coming under increasing pressure from Washington to demonstrate progress in easing sectarian violence, and Cheney’s unannounced visit to Iraq was depicted by U.S. officials as an attempt to press al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders to do more to achieve reconciliation among factions.
“We talked about a way ahead in terms of our mutual interests,” Cheney said.
Earlier, Cheney got a firsthand briefing on conditions in Iraq and the effectiveness of the U.S. military buildup from the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
“There’s a lot going on. This is a very important time. There’s a lot to talk about,” Cheney said as he met with Gen. David Petraeus and the new U.S. ambassador here, Ryan Crocker.
Petraeus said recently that conditions in Iraq may get harder before they get easier and will require “an enormous commitment” over time by the United States.
Cheney made Iraq the first stop on a weeklong tour of the Middle East that will also include stops in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. The Baghdad stop had not been announced publicly.
Cheney also met with Iraq’s Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, Sunni and Shiite vice presidents, and other government and political leaders.
Aides said the vice president wanted to emphasize that ending the conflict in Iraq cannot done by military means alone and that his mission was to get a sense of the situation on the ground in Iraq and to deliver a message that more work is needed on the political front to overcome divisions and delays.
Added: The first comment for this post was deleted because Cheney death/rape/torture fantasies won’t be tolerated.