WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday pressed Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and the president of its autonomous region of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, on the need for political reconciliation, his office said.
Biden “briefed both leaders on his meetings last week in Baghdad and reaffirmed the US government’s commitment to Iraq’s success,” his office said in a statement.
“He also pressed the need to reach a resolution on Iraq’s outstanding reconciliation issues,” according to the statement, which described the conversations as “productive and positive.”
His comments about political reconciliation came after Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh scolded Biden, implying that he was meddling in the strife-torn country’s efforts to forge national unity.
“We don’t want other parties to interfere in this matter because it will cause complications,” said the spokesman, adding that Biden “has to convey to (US) President (Barack) Obama the common desire of Iraqis to solve their problems together.”
Meanwhile, Biden, who visited Iraq in early July, “expressed disappointment” that he was unable to make it to the northern city of Arbil — Kurdistan’s main population center — due to sandstorms.