Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Kaufman visits Middle East

Source: The News Journal

By Nicole Gaudiano

July 7, 2010

Sen. Ted KAUFMAN reunited with his former boss, Vice President Joe Biden, during a trip to Iraq this week.

The Delaware Democrat, who was Biden's chief of staff when the vice president was still a senator, met with Biden in Baghdad to discuss their separate visits to Iraq and the importance of a long-term strategic relationship with the country, according to KAUFMAN's office.

Each met with military members and Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Allawi and al-Maliki both want to lead Iraq. They haven't reached a power-sharing agreement since Allawi's party narrowly won a majority in parliament in March.

The U.S. combat mission in Iraq ends Aug. 31.

KAUFMAN, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, conveyed his support and urged the two sides to form a government, according to his office.

KAUFMAN left for a Middle East tour on Thursday and will return before July 12. He arrived in Iraq Monday morning and left this afternoon.

He and fellow Democratic Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Jeanne Shaheen of North Carolina are traveling to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, and the West Bank to evaluate security, military, and political developments in the region.

This is KAUFMAN's fourth trip to Iraq and Kuwait, and his third trip to Israel and the West Bank since he took office in January 2009.

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