Biden Visits Iraq to Mark End of US Combat Ops
VP to discuss security with al-Maliki
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2010 1:06 PM CDT
Vice President Joe Biden addresses the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division during a welcome home ceremony, while his wife Jill looks on at Fort Drum, N.Y., Wednesday, July 28, 2010.   (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

(Newser) – Joe Biden returned to Iraq for the sixth time today to mark this week's formal end to US combat operations, and will preside over Wednesday's military change-of-command ceremony. Officials said Biden will also make a new appeal to Iraqi leaders to end a six-month post-election stalemate blocking formation of a new government.

Biden and al-Maliki will meet tomorrow morning "to discuss the political situation and withdrawal, and Iraqis taking over responsibility for security," the prime minister's adviser told the AP. On Wednesday, Gen. Ray Odierno ends more than five years in Iraq and hands over the reins as commander of US forces here to Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, in a ceremony that marks the start of the so-called "Operation New Dawn."