American Forces Press Service
May 27, 2007 – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki reached out to the Sunni population of his country with a visit to Anbar province yesterday. This was Maliki's second visit to the region since taking office. He visited Ramadi March 13. Maliki made the visit against a backdrop of combat operations in his country that broke up terrorist cells in Sadr City and captured terrorists building and planting improvised explosive devices and car bombs.
Maliki was supposed to attend a meeting of tribal leaders in al Qaim - a city on Iraq's border with Syria - but bad weather grounded all flights. Instead, the meeting was held at Al Asad Airbase. Maliki did talk by telephone with leaders from the area, including Sheikh Kurdi Al Rafah Albu Mahal and the Mayor of Husaybah, Farhan Tekan Farhan.
Also attending the meetings were U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of Multinational Force Iraq, Marine Maj. Gen. W.E. Gaskin, commander Multinational Force West, Anbar Governor Mamoun Sami Rasheed Al Awani, Provincial Chairman Abdulsalam Abdullah Mohammad, Iraqi Foreign Minister Rafa'a Al Issawi, and Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bulani.
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