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Admiral Mullen in Baghdad

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen (file photo)

The Obama administration's top military official is in Baghdad meeting with Iraqi leaders.

U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday, congratulating him on progress toward filling out the new government. He also discussed military relationships after the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. forces next year.

The Associated Press quoted U.S. military officials as saying there was no discussion of specifics.

Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is also scheduled to tour U.S. military installations, visiting with U.S. troops in the final planned year of their mission.

The U.S. military has an agreement with the Iraqi government to leave by the end of 2011. However, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he is open to the idea of keeping troops in Iraq past that deadline if Iraq requests an extension.

Mr. Al-Maliki said Saturday that the agreement will stand because Iraqi forces are capable of taking care of the country's security.