Iraqis protest Biden visit

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Saturday, 15 January 2011


iraqi_protestHundreds of Iraqis have taken to the streets of the central city of Kufa, condemning a visit by the US Vice President Joe Biden to their country.

Chanting anti-US slogans, the demonstrators said the main reason behind Biden's unannounced visit to
"In our protest, we demand that visits like Biden's to Iraq should not be repeated and that the occupier should leave," one protester said.

Similar anti-US demonstrations were held in the holy city of Najaf last week.

The US vice president, who arrived in Iraq on Thursday, held talks with Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani. Biden has visited Iraq seven times since January 2009.

This is while Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says the issue of the possibility that US troops will stay past the deadline has not been raised during the meetings.

"This was not a point of discussion. There was discussion of the fulfillment of the agreement, which clearly states that troops will leave by the end of 2011," Dabbagh said, adding that the Iraqi prime minister has assured Biden that Iraq is "capable of meeting the security challenge."

A security agreement between Baghdad and Washington obliges all US troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. There are currently some 50,000 US troops stationed in Iraq.

">  Iraq was extending a December 31, 2011 deadline for US troops to leave the country and called for an immediate US withdrawal.

"In our protest, we demand that visits like Biden's to Iraq should not be repeated and that the occupier should leave," one protester said.

Similar anti-US demonstrations were held in the holy city of Najaf last week.

The US vice president, who arrived in Iraq on Thursday, held talks with Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani. Biden has visited Iraq seven times since January 2009.

This is while Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says the issue of the possibility that US troops will stay past the deadline has not been raised during the meetings.

"This was not a point of discussion. There was discussion of the fulfillment of the agreement, which clearly states that troops will leave by the end of 2011," Dabbagh said, adding that the Iraqi prime minister has assured Biden that Iraq is "capable of meeting the security challenge."

A security agreement between Baghdad and Washington obliges all US troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. There are currently some 50,000 US troops stationed in Iraq.

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