Former Taliban fighters hand over their weapons to Afghan police as part of a reconciliation process in Herat, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 13, 2012. As the U.S. and NATO prepare for the downsizing of international troops with a final withdrawal scheduled for 2014 efforts are underway to bring the Taliban off the battlefield. Taliban leaders including one of the most senior members of the organization, Agha Jan Motasim told The AP that most Taliban supported a negotiated end to the protracted war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's prime minister has pressed for faster deliveries of weapons to help arm his country's military during a meeting with a senior U.S. defense official.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office said in a statement Thursday the Iraqi leader made the request during talks with U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in Baghdad.
Maliki says Iraq needs to beef up its defenses to protect the country's security and national sovereignty.
Carter visited the Iraqi capital during a Mideast tour that also included stops in U.S. allies Kuwait and Qatar.
Iraq has agreed to buy a range of American-made weapons, including tanks and F-16 fighter jets, as it works to rebuild and modernize its military.