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In Iraq, Blair Discusses Troop Withdrawal

British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Iraq's new prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in Baghdad. British officials say the leaders spoke about the eventual departure of foreign forces from Iraq. Maliki has said his top priority is halting insurgent attacks and stemming sectarian violence that has wracked the country for the past three months.

Maliki said that unless sectarian militias are disbanded, Iraq could face civil war. As the violence continues unabated, many Iraqis seem deeply skeptical that this new government can turn things around.

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Peter Kenyon is NPR's international correspondent based in Istanbul, Turkey.