Sheryl Gay Stolberg
The New York Times
July 7, 2009

[efoods]ABOARD AIR FORCE TWO – Wrapping up a diplomatic mission to Baghdad, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Iraqi leaders told him privately that they feared President Obama had pushed Iraq “to the bottom of the shelf” to make way for other, more pressing concerns like the war in Afghanistan.

But, Mr. Biden said, he reassured them that was not the case.

In an interview during the first of the two-leg trip that brought him back to Washington early Sunday morning, Mr. Biden recounted his conversations. “To quote one of the four principals with whom I met: ‘With your concerns with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Korea, we were concerned we were moved to the bottom shelf,’ ” he said.

“And so I said, ‘Well, you’re not. And evidence of that is, as the vice president of the United States I’m here talking to you.’ And it was clear that they – it was like, ‘Yeah, we get it.’ ”

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