By Frank James
Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Iraq where he will meet with Iraqi leaders as well as U.S. troops.
One topic of discussion between Biden and President Nouri al-Maliki is expected to be Iraq's national elections scheduled for March.
Many experts fear that a government panel's action of banning a number of political figures with alleged ties to the Baathist Party of the Saddam Hussein-era from running will lead to an unraveling of political progress in Iraq.
The White House issued this statement:
As part of his regular engagement with Iraq, Vice President Biden has arrived in Baghdad to meet with Iraqi leaders; receive updates from U.S. military and civilian leaders; and visit U.S. troops. During his trip, he will meet with Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Speaker of the Council of Representatives Ayad al-Samarrai and other political leaders. He will also meet with the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq Ad Melkert to discuss U.S. and international efforts to support Iraq, with a focus on the national elections scheduled for March 2010.