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Wednesday, December 13, 2006
U.S. congressional delegation visits Iraq
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Iraq's prime minister and a U.S. congressional delegation met Wednesday in Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki received the delegation, which included Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, and four others.

The prime minister's office said the lawmakers are renewing their support of Iraq's political process and the government's efforts to establish security and stability.

Al-Maliki said the government is moving ahead with the process of national reconciliation, reconstruction plans, and expanding its political base.

He also spoke of new security measures, including the acceleration of arming and training Iraqi security forces with the goal of having those troops take over security throughout the country. Al-Maliki also said he rejects militias and said weapons should only be in the hands of the government. Shiite militias have been in the middle of Iraq's sectarian warfare.

The U.S. Embassy's Office of Public Affairs said the delegation will take part in a media roundtable on Thursday.

Along with McCain and Lieberman, the others in the delegation are Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.; John Thune, R-South Dakota; and Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Illinnois, the embassy said.
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