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Biden calls Iraqi leaders after wave of violence

December 25, 2011
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WASHINGTON—Vice President Joe Biden is reaching out to Iraq's leaders to discuss recent violence there and the country's tenuous political climate.

Biden spoke Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and on Saturday with the president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani. The White House says Biden expressed condolences for the recent violence in Baghdad and discussed the political climate in Iraq.

Biden's calls follow a wave of bombings in Baghdad earlier in the week that left at least 60 people dead. There are also concerns of a sectarian split in the government after al-Maliki's Shiite-led coalition issued an arrest warrant for the country's top Sunni political leader.

U.S. officials are closely watching the developments in Iraq, which follow the withdrawal of all American troops.

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