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US House Speaker Pelosi in Iraq for Unannounced Visit


U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Iraq and and the United States will need to improve intelligence gathering in preparation for an American troop withdrawal.

Pelosi made the comment Sunday after meeting with Iraqi officials in Baghdad.

During her one-day unannounced visit, Pelosi said Iraq will need a strong U.S. intelligence presence once there is a diminished military presence. Pelosi also said the two countries would need to cooperate on the issue of corruption.

On Sunday Iraqi police announced the arrest of the brother of the country's trade minister for alleged embezzlement.

Pelosi said she and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed plans for an eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. She said the United States is committed to its agreements about troop reductions.

U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to withdraw all American combat troops from Iraq by the end of August 2010.

A security agreement between the U.S. and Iraq calls for all U.S. forces to leave the country by the end of 2011.

Pelosi has been a top Democratic Party critic of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. She last visited the country in 2008, when she also met with Mr. al-Maliki.

Iraq has seen a recent upsurge in violence. April was one of the deadliest months in the last year, with a reported 355 Iraqis killed.


Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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