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Iraq Points to Pullout in 2010

Video
Sen. Barack Obama met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad Monday. Obama said the conversation was 'very constructive'. Video by AP

Members of Obama's group later said he suggested in the meeting that to build on the reduction in violence and help Iraqis prepare to increase their responsibilities, the United States must responsibly remove its combat brigades and leave no permanent bases. Obama also expressed support for giving U.S. troops immunity from Iraqi prosecution while they are in Iraq.

The delegation also met Adel Abdul Mahdi, the Shiite vice president. Obama later toured the U.S. military hospital inside the Green Zone and took a helicopter ride over Baghdad with Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, with whom he was to dine.

The delegation began its trip with two days in Afghanistan, then flew to Kuwait.

Obama, a first-term senator who is seeking to persuade voters that he has enough foreign policy experience to succeed in the Oval Office, is scheduled to travel to Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and Britain by the end of the week.

Interviewed on NBC's "Today" show on Monday morning, Obama's Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, said he "was glad" Obama was meeting with Petraeus and hearing firsthand about the buildup of U.S. troops over the past year.

"I hope he will have a chance to admit that he badly misjudged the situation, and that he was wrong when he said the surge wouldn't work, and admit that the surge has succeeded and that we are winning the war," McCain said.

Eggen reported from Washington. Special correspondents Qais Mizher, Zaid Sabah, Aziz Alwan and Saad al-Izzi in Baghdad contributed to this report.


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