Biden calls Iraqi leader for 2nd time this week
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden has spoken for a second time this week to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee), voicing support for the Baghdad government's effort to regain control of the city of Fallujah from al-Qaida-linked fighters.
The White House says Biden encouraged al-Maliki to continue talks with local, tribal and national leaders and says Biden welcomed al-Maliki's affirmation Wednesday that Iraqi elections will occur as scheduled in April.
The White House says al-Maliki described a series of political initiatives in the embattled Anbar province. Biden endorsed a decision by Iraq's Council of Ministers to provide state benefits to tribal forces killed or injured fighting al-Qaida-linked fighters.
Biden also spoke to al-Maliki on Monday, voicing concern about those suffering from terrorism.