U.S. presidential election
Tension escalates in
Iraqi soldiers walk past election posters for upcoming provincial polls in Basra on July 20. Democratic White House candidate Barack Obama is in Iraq on a fact-finding tour, days after confirming plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in 16 months if he takes office next year.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
BAGHDAD, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Democratic presidential
candidate Barack Obama arrived in Baghdad Monday on a fact-finding tour.
The U.S. Embassy in Iraq confirmed his arrival along
with two other senators.
Obama flew into Iraq from Afghanistan, the first leg
of his Middle East and European tour designed to boost his say in foreign
affairs amid a presidential campaign dead heat back in the United States.
The Democratic presidential candidate has promised,
if elected, will withdraw the U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months, and send
more troops to Afghanistan where security situation is getting worse.
The senators are scheduled to meet with senior Iraqi
officials, coalition leadership and U.S. diplomatic officials, the U.S. embassy
They will also meet with constituent service members
and civilian staff working in Iraq.
U.S. President George W. Bush opposes a specific
timetable for pulling out the troops. But the Iraqi government is ratcheting up
calls for such a time line.
In a video conference last week, Bush and Iraqi Prime
Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed on a time horizon for a drawdown of troops.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that
Maliki supports Obama's withdrawal timetable. But the Iraqi side later said
Maliki was misunderstood.
During his stay in Afghanistan, Obama met President
Hamid Karzai and visited U.S. military bases.
Matters pertaining situation in Afghanistan, regional
stability, fight against drug, war on terror and enhancing Kabul-Washington
relations were discussed, according to a statement by Karzai's office.
Both sides had exchanged views on boosting economic
relations between Afghanistan and the United States and on bolstering
reconstruction process of the post-Taliban nation in the meeting, the statement
Obama promises long-term support to
KABUL, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obama promised long-term support to Afghanistan
when he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the Presidential Palace on
Sunday, a statement released by Karzai's office said. Full
U.S Democratic presidential candidate
Barack Obama (R) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai walk at the
presidential palace in Kabul July 20, 2008. Obama promised long-term
support to Afghanistan when he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in
the Presidential Palace on Sunday. (Xinhua/Reuters
Obama embarks on multi-stop foreign
WASHINGTON, July 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obama has embarked on a multi-stop overseas trip
for meetings with a number of heads of states, his campaign said Saturday. Full
storyIraqi PM denies backing Obama's
July 20 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki denied that he has
released statements backing a plan of Democratic presidential candidate Barack
Obama which sets a timeframe for possible U.S. troops withdrawal from Iraq, the
government's spokesman said on Sunday. Full story
Obama, McCain argue over
WASHINGTON, July 15
(Xinhua) -- U.S. presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain debated
fiercely over Iraq policy in separate speeches Tuesday, but agreed on a need to
shift focus to Afghanistan. Full story
WASHINGTON, July 14 (Xinhua) --
U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Monday that he would set
a goal of having all U.S. combat brigades out of Iraq by summer 2010 and shift
more resources to fighting al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Full