25 July 2005 (RFE/RL) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard arrived today on an unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The office of Iraqi Premier Ibrahim al-Ja'fari said Howard will be holding talks with al-Ja'fari.
Australia, a strong ally of the United States, has about 750 troops in Iraq, and Howard will visit some of these men.
Howard has refused to lay out a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, saying it depends on a range of factors, including the ability of local security forces to work effectively against the insurgency, and the ability of the democratic structures to function.
Does Britain's Secret Memo On Iraqi Withdrawal Indicate A Weakening Of Resolve?For RFE/RL's full coverage of developments in Iraq, see "The New Iraq"