Iraq official: Biden affirms peaceful pullout

BAGHDAD - Vice President-elect Joe Biden assured Iraq's prime minister Tuesday that the incoming administration won't withdraw U.S. troops in a way that threatens stability, an Iraqi spokesman said.

Biden later traveled to one of the major threats to that stability - the northern city of Kirkuk. He urged rival Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen to make concessions to resolve peacefully their competing claims to the oil-rich city.

U.S. officials issued no statement about Biden's meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which happened on the second and final day of his visit to Iraq.

Egypt pushes Hamas to accept truce

CAIRO, Egypt - Egyptian mediators pushed the militant Palestinian Hamas group to accept a truce proposal for the embattled Gaza Strip in talks Tuesday, while the U.N. secretary-general headed to the region to join the multitrack diplomatic efforts for a cease-fire.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has backed the Egyptian truce proposal to halt the fighting, now in its third week. Before leaving New York for the Egyptian capital on Tuesday, he urged Israel and Hamas to accept a U.N. cease-fire resolution and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Milosevic's secret police chief testifies

BELGRADE, Serbia - Slobodan Milosevic's secret police chief said Tuesday he had no knowledge of a massacre by Serbian troops of ethnic Albanian civilians during the Kosovo war.

Radomir Markovic testified as a witness in the trial of eight former Serbian security officers charged with ordering and carrying out the March 1999 killings in the Kosovo village of Suva Reka.

US, Mexico vow cooperationon trafficking

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush on Tuesday pledged continued U.S. cooperation on narcotrafficking in Mexico, saying the United States has a responsibility to help prevent guns from moving south across the border.

Bush had his final Oval Office meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a leader U.S. officials have praised for deploying troops to fight cartels and capturing top drug kingpins.

- From wire reports