Obama discusses US military presence with Iraqi leaders
Presumptive US Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama held talks upon his arrival in Baghdad Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on the future of US military presence in Iraq, official sources said.
Obama's second visit to Iraq, after a 2006 trip, is the second leg of a foreign tour he hopes will boost his foreign policy credentials, reported dpa.
As soon as he arrived in Baghdad the Illinois senator held talks with al-Maliki on the presence of US troops in Iraq and the possibilities of troop cuts, an Iraqi cabinet official told the Voices of Iraq news agency.
Obama said that, if elected, he would seek to withdraw US combat troops from Iraq within 16 months and commit more troops to Afghanistan.
The sentor wants Afghanistan to be the focus of the war on terror and thinks Iraq is a distraction from this policy objective.
The number of coalition forces who died in Afghanistan in July, is three times higher than in Iraq. The death toll among those troops in Afghanistan reached 22 on Saturday with the death of a Canadian soldier.
With the lowest level of violence since 2004, may parts of Iraq have been enjoying a state of normalcy and confidence in the future.
However, many Iraqis fear that any hasty withdrawal of the US-led multinational forces may undermine a fragile security and shaky political stability.
Other Iraqis think Obama's withdrawal proposal was part of the US presidential campaign in which he was seeking to attract votes of Americans tired of the war.
Obama's visit is part of a congressional team's foreign trip. They also visited Afghanistan and made an overnight stop in Kuwait. The delegation will also travel to Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England.