Vice President Joe Biden arrived today in Iraq, the final stop in a trip that has given him a hot-spot hat trick, coming after visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Air Force Two—in this case, a C-17—landed in Baghdad shortly after midnight local time after his flight from Islamabad.
While in Iraq, the vice president will meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqiya Party leader Ayad Allawi, President Jalal Talabani, Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, and other political leaders, according to the White House.
This is Biden’s seventh trip to Iraq as vice president.
Earlier, in Pakistan, the vice president concluded his meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani calling the U.S.-Pakistani relationship vital and saying he wanted to clear up “misconceptions” about that relationship.
In fighting al-Qaida, he said, the United States is not undertaking a “war on Pakistan.” He said that violent extremists pose a threat to both the United States and Pakistan and “have found refuge in some of the most remote parts of your country.”