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U.S. security adviser on Iraq, Afghan trip

Oct. 17, 2012 at 6:18 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A senior U.S. security adviser went to Iraq and Afghanistan this week to discuss issues including Afghanistan's takeover of its security, the White House said.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough was in Baghdad Monday for meetings that "underscored the U.S. commitment to Iraq's success through the structure of the bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement."

Vietor said McDonough conducted a review of "cooperation on security issues" and discussed how Washington and Baghdad could "further improve their partnership, including on counterterrorism."

McDonough met with President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders and, in addition to urging "inclusive dialogue toward national reconciliation," he "reiterated our view that that any investigation into Iraq's Central Bank must be transparent, in accordance with Iraqi law and free from political influence to avoid undermining the independence of the institution or investor confidence in Iraq," Vietor said.

McDonough was in Afghanistan Tuesday and Wednesday, meeting with U.S. civilian and military leaders and with coalition and Afghan partners.

He met in Kabul with Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, and other ISAF officials "to discuss the military campaign, the transition process, and the status of building and strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to assume responsibility as U.S. and coalition forces continue to draw down," Vietor said.

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