BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Iraq (all times local):
Vice President Joe Biden has left Iraq after roughly eight hours in the country.
Biden departed on a U.S. military transport plane from Irbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. He met there with the Kurdish president.
The vice president spent most of his unannounced visit in Baghdad, where he met with Iraq's prime minister and parliament speaker. He also spent time in Baghdad with U.S. diplomats and troops.
Rome is Biden's next stop. He's scheduled to address a Vatican conference Friday about his work to accelerate cancer research. The White House says he'll also greet Pope Francis.
Vice President Joe Biden is closing out an unannounced trip to Iraq by visiting the White House.
Not that White House. He's visiting the Kurdish White House in the regional capital of Irbil. It's where Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (NEH'-cher-vahn Bar-ZAHN-ee) has his offices.
Biden is actually meeting with Nechirvan Barzani's uncle, Massoud Barzani. He's the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
The leaders greeted each other warmly in an ornate, carpeted room as they sat down in front of American, Kurdish and Iraqi flags. They said little while reporters were briefly allowed in for the start of their meeting.
The meeting closes out Biden's short visit to Iraq.
Vice President Joe Biden is in Irbil, Iraq, for an unannounced visit to the capital of Iraq's mostly autonomous northern Kurdish region.
Biden flew in from Baghdad, where he met with Iraq's prime minister and parliament speaker.
The White House hasn't said what Biden plans to do in Irbil.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been among the most effective forces battling Islamic State extremists, and the Obama administration is relying on Kurdish groups to fight IS in neighboring Syria, too. But low oil prices, disputes with the central government and a refugee crisis have strained the once-booming economy.
Iraqi forces with U.S. help are preparing to try to take back from IS the city of Mosul, barely 50 miles away from Irbil.
Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. has sent its troops abroad to keep the peace in places where history has led people to create artificial states based on artificial lines made up of distinct ethnic and religious groups. He says the world has told them, "Have at it."
Biden is alluding to deep sectarian tensions in Iraq as he thanks U.S. military and diplomatic personnel working in the country. He says their courage sends a message to everyone else.
He cited a line from "Ulysses" by James Joyce. Biden says the history of the Mideast region is a nightmare from which everyone is trying to awake.
The vice president noted his late son Beau Biden's service in Iraq. Beau Biden last year from brain cancer.
Biden's other son, Hunter, is with him in Iraq.
7: 30 p.m.
Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. and Iraq are making "real progress" against the Islamic State group.
Biden is meeting with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri during an unannounced visit to Iraq. He says the progress is serious and the U.S. remains committed.
Al-Jabouri, a Sunni leader, is under pressure from lawmakers to resign amid a political crisis fueled by protesters angry over corruption and mismanagement.
Biden says his meeting earlier Thursday with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY'-dahr ahl ah-BAH'-dee) focused on planning for operations to retake the key northern city of Mosul from IS extremists.
President Barack Obama has predicted Mosul will be in position to eventually fall by the end of the year. U.S. officials say progress is likely to slow during the hot summer months and that the recapture could take a long time.
Vice President Joe Biden has met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY'-dahr ahl ah-BAH'-dee) to discuss resolving Iraq's political crisis.
The meeting was Biden's first stop after arriving in Iraq on an unannounced trip Thursday. Biden will also meet with other leaders and U.S. personnel in Iraq.
Biden and al-Abadi exchanged greetings as they and their delegations sat down at a government palace in Baghdad. Al-Abadi was heard speaking in English without assistance from a translator as reporters were allowed in briefly for the start of the meeting.
He and Biden met at the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's Republican Palace, inside the heavily fortified Green Zone. The grandiose palace served as U.S. headquarters in Baghdad after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 until the U.S. opened a new embassy.