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U.S. Vice President-Elect Arrives In Iraq

U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden

U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden has arrived in Baghdad for talks with leaders of Iraq, where the withdrawal of some 140,000 U.S. troops is seen as a key challenge facing the incoming administration.

The Delaware senator, who takes office with President-elect Barack Obama later this month, met President Jalal Talabani at his Baghdad residence.

The visit by the long-time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came at the tail end of a tour of Southwest Asia that included stops in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Obama wants to send more troops as he withdraws from Iraq.

Biden voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq but later become a critic of the war and the way President George W. Bush executed it.

He is best known in Iraq as the author of a 2006 plan to divide the country into self-governing Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish enclaves -- an idea that offended many Iraqi politicians and was quietly put on the back burner as violence ebbed.