May 10, 2009
Posted: 11:07 PM ET
By JACK DOLAN McClatchy Newspapers
BAGHDAD - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Iraq Sunday, discussing how the two countries will handle intelligence gathering and fight political corruption as the U.S. military begins to withdraw.
Pelosi's conversation with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and her counterpart in the Iraqi Parliament, Ayad al-Samarrai, came one day after the brother of Iraq's Trade Minister was caught trying to flee the country with a trunk full of cash and gold, seeking to escape corruption charges.
As the security situation has improved, political corruption has emerged as something of a national obsession in Iraq, with politicians and religious leaders of all stripes condemning it as a "second insurgency."
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