Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, a Shiite, launched his initiative of reconciliation shortly after he formed his cabinet in May 2006, but he has been criticized for failing to do enough to make use of security gains to achieve progress in overcoming differences between Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and other factions.
Biden met with Maliki on Friday and warned him that although the US maintaining about 130,000 troops in Iraq, the time is running out and he (Maliki) has to move faster on national reconciliation efforts as the deadline for the departure of US combat troops is approaching.
After hours of closed-door meetings Friday, Biden made it clear to Iraqi leaders that his country would be unlikely to remain engaged in Iraq if the country reverted to sectarian violence, urging the Iraqis to rapidly make use of the political process to resolve their remaining differences.
Nevertheless, Biden told Iraqi leaders that he and US President Barack Obama are standing ready to help the political process in Iraq.
"The United States will continue to support the government of national unity and assist Iraq in the United Nations to get out of Chapter VII," Biden said, referring to UN sanctions imposed during Saddam Hussein's regime which was toppled in the 2003 invasion.