Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Baghdad for a surprise visit ahead of the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq.
Biden arrived at Baghdad International Airport at 6:32 p.m. local time and traveled directly to the U.S. Embassy. It’s Biden’s eighth trip to Iraq since being elected vice president.
According to the White House, Biden will co-chair a meeting of the U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee and meet with senior Iraqi officials during his time there. He’ll also speak at an event marking American sacrifices in the more than eight-year conflict.
President Obama announced in October that the remaining 40,000 U.S. troops would return home by year’s end, a fulfillment of his campaign pledge to end the conflict.
The stop comes ahead of scheduled visits by Biden to Greece and Turkey.