Gates Arrives in Baghdad for Consultations
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Feb. 10, 2008 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived here today and immediately went into meetings with senior Iraqi officials.
The secretary arrived after a four-hour flight from Munich. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, met Gates and escorted the secretary to a working dinner with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talibani and other senior officials.
While en route to Baghdad, Gates told reporters traveling with him that he planned to congratulate the Iraqi leaders on their recent governmental progress. Gates said Iraqi lawmakers have been “energized” lately, passing a justice law and continuing work on provincial law.
Gates is scheduled to meet tomorrow with Petraeus and discuss a wide range of issues -- among them the troop drawdown through July and the possibility of further cuts later in the year.
This is the secretary's seventh trip to Iraq in just over a year.