By Vicki Needham - 01/18/14 04:22 PM EST
Vice President Joe Biden pledged his support on Saturday to Iraqi leaders amid increasing violence.
Biden talked with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the two leaders agreed on the importance of the Iraqi government’s continued outreach to local and tribal leaders in Anbar province.
He also emphasized the importance of seeking a way forward with Erbil regarding oil exports from Iraq.
Iraq asked Biden and the United States this week for weapons to keep a resurgence of al-Qaeda-linked militants at bay, al-Maliki said in an interview.
U.S. officials have said it may be able to get those arms, including assault rifles, to Baghdad soon.
Tensions have escalated since the beginning of the year but Maliki said he doesn't regret not striking a deal with Washington that would have kept some U.S. troops in his country after the 2011 withdrawal.