Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rice flies to Iraq to urge reconciliation

KIRKUK, Iraq, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Iraq on an unannounced visit on Tuesday, and a U.S. official said she planned to urge Iraqi leaders to speed up national reconciliation.

It was her first trip to Iraq since September, when she accompanied U.S. President George W. Bush on his visit to the western province of Anbar, a former Sunni Arab insurgent stronghold now hailed by U.S. officials as a success story.

She comes at a time when frustrated U.S. officials have urged Iraqi leaders to take advantage of a downturn in violence and make more political progress......

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