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Top of the Agenda: Maliki in Washington

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1 Top of the Agenda: Maliki in Washington on Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:11 pm

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Top of the Agenda: Maliki in Washington

Talks in Washington between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki focused on curbing sectarian strife in Iraq. Obama said the United States remains on track to withdraw combat troops by the end of August 2010 (NYT).

Obama also pledged to help rid Iraq of the UN sanctions (WSJ) that were imposed in 1991 after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Eliminating the
sanctions could save Iraq billions of dollars that it now pays to Kuwait in reparations for the Gulf War.

Full text of the remarks from their joint press conference is available here.

Maliki will spend four days in Washington meeting with U.S. economic, trade, and diplomatic
officials (WashPost).

Analysis:
In a recent contingency memo, CFR's Stephen Biddle assesses four interrelated scenarios in Iraq that could derail the prospects for peace and stability in the short to medium term and
posits concrete policy options to limit U.S. vulnerability to the possibility of such reversals.

In an interview with CFR, Daniel Serwer, who served as executive director of the
Baker-Hamilton Commission on Iraq, says the "serious" crisis between Kurdistan and the
central Iraqi government "needs to be resolved" to some degree before the U.S. troops leave.

CFR's Daniel Senor, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, discusses the escalating conflict between Iraq's Arabs and Kurds. He says President Obama must give a clear signal that he is prepared to slow down planned U.S. troop withdrawals.

Sam Parker of the U.S. Institute of Peace profiles Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki in Foreign Policy. He argues Maliki today is the dominant force in Iraqi politics, has consolidated much of the emerging Iraqi state into his own hands, and has won a
measure of democratic legitimacy after January's provincial elections.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill discusses the scaled-back role of U.S. forces in Iraq, and
plans to reduce the size of the massive U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Background:
This CFR Backgrounder looks at U.S. security agreements with Iraq.

2 Re: Top of the Agenda: Maliki in Washington on Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:14 pm

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I went ahead and post this email...I have read all the Links that are in Blue and underlined...

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