Prime Minister Gordon Brown makes a surprise visit to Iraq to assess reconstruction and the prospects for reducing UK troop numbers.
The UK prime minister, transported by helicopter across Baghdad, plans a draw-down in British troops but says he will not set an "artificial timetable".
On Gordon Brown's first trip to Iraq since December, he says "enormous progress" has been made in the country in recent months.
Gordon Brown spends about an hour in talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. The trip comes ahead of a government statement on involvement in Iraq due in the Commons next week.
Mr Brown meets Iraqi President Jalal Talibani at the presidential palace, later holding talks with US officials.
Gordon Brown's trip includes a visit to UK forces' base in the southern city of Basra. Mr Brown says he will "congratulate them on their professionalism, on their resilience and
on their courage".
The PM meets troops in Basra, site of the main base for about 4,000 British servicemen and women currently in Iraq. A plan to cut that to 2,500 in the spring was abandoned owing to violence around the city.