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McCain Meets With Iraqi Foreign Minister


From CBS News' John Bentley:

WASHINGTON -- John McCain hosted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari at his Arlington, Virginia, headquarters today, as their two countries work to hammer out an agreement on troop levels in Iraq. The talks have recently come to a stalemate over matters such as immunity from prosecution for American contractors, as well as whether the U.S. will defend Iraq from foreign attacks indefinitely, as the Iraqi government has requested.

When directly asked about the U.S. defending Iraq from foreign attacks, a position which Barack Obama opposes, McCain reiterated his support for the current U.S. strategy. "The United States and Iraq will act what is in the interest of both countries," McCain said. "To have employed what Sen. Obama wanted to do would have been defeat." Obama is scheduled to speak with Zebari by phone tomorrow.

Both McCain and Zebari have been outspoken supporters of the surge strategy, and Zebari believes it will allow more U.S. troops to withdraw. "We look for the day when these forces will come back, with dignity and in a victorious manner, but still there is some time to realize that," he said. "Recently there has been some withdrawal of U.S. Army units that have participated in the surge strategy, and the situation remains stable, this is a very positive development."

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