U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses representatives of Iraqi civil society and members of the press at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Saturday.
Arriving soon after the deadliest suicide bombings in the last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Iraq in her new position, assuring Iraqis in Baghdad that they have the United States’ continued support despite the Obama administration’s focus on Afghanistan and talk of troop withdrawal.
Los Angeles Times:
“The end of the United States combat presence in Iraq by 2011 will mark the beginning of a new phase of our countries’ relationship. As we draw down militarily, we will deepen our civilian cooperation,” she said.
President Obama’s plan calls for U.S. troops to leave Iraq’s cities by the end of June, combat forces to leave the country by the end of August 2010, and all troops to be gone by the end of the following year.
But many Iraqis are concerned that the U.S. is pulling out too soon. At the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy, Clinton held one of the town hall meetings that have become a hallmark of her diplomacy so far, and some members of the invited audience of about 100 Iraqis expressed their anxieties.