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US Vice President Joe Biden has met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad over Fourth of July weekend. His visit, aims to help end the political deadlock gripping the country since elections were held four months ago.
In an address at one of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's palaces, Biden stressed that all Iraq's competing factions must feel included in the new government, regardless of who leads it.
Joe Biden, US Vice President, said, "When the new government is formed it will mark something extraordinary: a peaceful transition of power: encompassing all the people of Iraq, maybe for the first time in their history. "
The vice president met earlier with the two main rivals for leadership, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former premier Ayad Allawi. Biden called on Iraqi leaders at the US Embassy to "finish what they started" and form a government.
Iraqi politicians have been bickering since the March 7th parliamentary election that left the country without a clear winner about who should have the right to form the next government.
Al-Maliki's State of Law coalition narrowly lost to Allawi's Iraqiya bloc, but neither side gained the majority needed to govern outright.
Meanwhile, Biden and his wife officiated an Independence Day naturalization ceremony in honor of 156 soldiers who earned their US citizenship through service.
- US Vice President visits Iraq 2010-07-04