Obama: we have asked Iran to return downed U.S. drone

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:55pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday said the U.S. government had requested the return of a spy drone downed over Iran but declined to discuss if its loss could compromise U.S. national security.

"We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said during a joint news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki after the two met at the White House.

Obama acknowledged differences between Washington and Baghdad on how to deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators but said Maliki was acting in Iraq's best interests.

Maliki raised concerns about the risk of sectarian violence in Syria spilling into neighboring Iraq and said he wanted the Syrian situation resolved peacefully.

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