Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    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

COMMENT(S)