Obama Meets With Iraqi Premier

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama began his first on-the-ground inspection of Iraq since launching his bid for the White House, with U.S. commanders ready to brief him on progress in a war he has long opposed and Iraqi leaders wanting more details of his proposals for troop withdrawals.

Obama's precise travel plans were kept secret because of security, although he was seen arriving for a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the heavily protected Green Zone and is expected to meet U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus.

Obama was in Iraq after a first stop in Afghanistan on a journey that was also to take him to Israel, Jordan and Europe.

After leaving Afghanistan, Obama and the two U.S. senators he is traveling with flew to Kuwait City, where they met with Kuwait's emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, and other senior officials, the Kuwait News Agency reported.