BAGHDAD, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki’s media adviser confirmed Wednesday that the Chairman of U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey paid a quick visit to Baghdad on Tuesday and had “positive” meetings with Iraqi officials.
Ali al-Musawi, the adviser, told reporters in Baghdad that Dempsey paid a six-hour visit to Baghdad a day before and met a few Iraqi top officials, including Maliki.
He said Maliki during the meeting stressed the need to accelerate the arming of Iraqi forces in order to “help protect Iraq’s sovereignty,” to which, “Dempsey expressed U.S.’s readiness to arm all the three Iraqi forces: the army, the navy and the air force.”
Dempsey completed his whirlwind visit on the same day and left Baghdad on Tuesday night. He is the highest-ranking U.S. officials to visit Iraq since the last American combat troops departed from Iraq.
U.S. military forces pulled out completely from Iraq at the end of 2011, according to a security pact named Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed in late 2008 between Baghdad and Washington.