Iraqis protest Joe Biden’s visit

Iraqis protest Joe Bidens visitHundreds of Iraqis have taken to the streets of Sadr City, east of the capital Baghdad, to condemn a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to their country.

Chanting anti-US slogans, the demonstrators described Biden’s unannounced visit to Iraq as Washington’s last attempts to pressure Iraqi leaders into agreeing with keeping a number of US troops in the country beyond the 2011 deadline. 

Iraqi demonstrators also accused the US Vice President of seeking to create division in Iraq and called for an immediate US withdrawal and an end to Washington’s meddling in the country. Iraqis also blamed Washington for the political difficulties in their country. 

Iraqi lawmakers, clerics and city councilors also attended the protest rally. 

”This man (Joe Biden) carries nothing in his bag but malice towards the Iraqi people. Every time Biden visits Iraq, Iraqi people are hit by calamity and disaster. He (Biden) feels malice towards the Iraqi people. We condemn Biden’s visit and any visit to Iraq by US officials,” said Hussein Talib, a member of the Iraqi parliament. 

Similar anti-US rallies were also held in the cities of Basra and Najaf. 

“They (US troops) will leave within a month, but there is something going on behind the scene which the Iraqi people do not know about, some kind of an agreement between Biden and the Iraqi government. For this reason we have staged a protest. We warn every one against any agreement that harm Iraq’s security,” said a protester in Basra. 

Biden arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday and has held meetings with top Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. 

All US troops are preparing to leave Iraq by the end of 2011 as required by a 2008 bilateral security agreement between the two countries. Washington decided to pull out all its troops from Iraq after Baghdad refused to grant legal immunity to the remaining US soldiers. 


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