From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
(WASHINGTON) Barack Obama will travel to Iraq and Afghanistan before the Democratic convention in August, Democratic sources tell CBS News. Earlier today, Obama spoke to Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, and told Talabani he will be visiting the war zone soon.
The Obama campaign issued the following statement after the telephone conversation: "I was pleased to speak with President Talabani during his stay here in the United States. We discussed the security situation in Iraq, and the political accommodation that is necessary for long-term stability. We also discussed the ongoing negotiations with the Bush Administration over a Status of Forces Agreement and the Strategic Framework Agreement, which I believe must be subject to congressional approval, and done in the context of planning for a responsible removal of American troops. It is not in America's interest or Iraq's interest for there to be an open-ended commitment to keep U.S. troops in Iraq."
Obama came under fire by John McCain earlier this month for not visiting Iraq since 2006, and proposed that they visit the country together. Obama declined the offer but expressed interest in visiting the war zone on his own.
Obama met with Talabani during his last trip to Iraq in 2006.