Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian 'evidence' into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Syria: Former hostages recount 10-month ordeal

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Alexis Tsipras, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, European Left Party

Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • Russia vows to respond if 'attacked' in Ukraine

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    Read more

  • Photos link ‘little green men’ in Ukraine to Russian troops

    Read more

  • New anti-radicalisation plans aimed at fighting jihadism

    Read more

Middle east

Gates pays surprise visit to Baghdad

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-10

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Iraq for a surprise visit Thursday, two days after a series of bomb attacks killed 127 people in Baghdad. The 115,000 US troops currently in Iraq are set to be reduced to 50,000 by the end of August.

AFP - US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad on Thursday for an unexpected visit, according to an AFP journalist traveling with him.

His trip to Iraq, which follows a visit to Afghanistan, comes just days after massive blasts rocked Baghdad and killed 127 people. He was last in the country in July.

"It is part of his routine engagement with the Iraqi leadership, as well as with the forces there," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told journalists aboard Gates' plane.

Gates will meet with President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as part of the trip, and will also have dinner with senior US military commanders, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The 115,000 US troops currently in Iraq are set to be reduced to 50,000 by the end of August, and will completely withdraw from the country by the end of 2011, as part of a US-Iraqi agreement signed last year.

That timeline remains on track despite Tuesday's bombings, Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters.

The defence secretary's visit also comes after the passage of a crucial election law this week and the announcement that Iraq will hold parliamentary elections on March 7.

Date created : 2009-12-10

  • IRAQ

    Al Qaeda group claims responsibility for Baghdad bombings

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Security forces may need US funds for 20 more years, Karzai tells Gates

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)