Cheney 7thLd-Writethru 05-09

Cheney visits Baghdad

Vice President Dick Cheney and Iraqi Prime Minister Mouri al-Maliki acknowledged problems in the pace of reducing violence in Iraq today, but both pledged their governments would continue working together toward a solution.

"The meeting with the vice president paved a foundation for practical steps to support our efforts working on both the security front as well as the domestic political issues," said al-Maliki in a joint news conference with Cheney.

Al-Maliki is coming under increasing pressure from Washington to demonstrate progress in easing sectarian violence, and Cheney’s unannounced visit to Iraq was depicted by U.S. officials as an attempt to press al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders to do more to achieve reconciliation among factions.

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