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US House speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Iraq to meet with top US, Iraqi officials - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD (AP) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a top Democratic critic of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, met with the Iraqi prime minister Saturday during a surprise visit to Baghdad.

Pelosi went into the meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shortly after arriving in the Iraqi capital, a government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo confirmed that the California Democrat had arrived and said she would be meeting with senior U.S. and Iraqi leaders.

Pelosi’s visit comes a day after she led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding.

Pelosi has criticized the Bush administration’s strategy of taking a “pause” before deciding whether a major drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq was warranted, advocating a faster troop withdrawal. She also has led calls for the Iraqi government to contribute more financially to the reconstruction of the country.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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