Biden speaks with Iraqi PM on violence

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 25, 2011 12:13 PM
Biden speaks with Iraqi PM on violence

HONOLULU (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone on Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki about violence in Baghdad and concerns about the political climate in Iraq following the U.S. troop pull-out, the White House said.

Biden, who also spoke with Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, stressed in the calls that the United States supports "ongoing efforts to convene a dialogue among Iraqi political leaders," the White House said in a statement released during President Barack Obama's holiday in Hawaii.

Biden has played a leading diplomatic role alongside the U.S. military's departure from Iraq this month, traveling to Iraq and engaging Iraqi leaders about signs of rising sectarian tensions in the country that Washington invaded in 2003.

(Reporting By Laura MacInnis; Editing by Eric Beech)