House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. John Murtha, both vocal war critics, were in the Iraqi capital Friday at the head of a delegation of House members on a fact-finding mission as the White House and Congress dueled over the expansion of U.S. forces in Iraq.
The Pelosi delegation visited the heavily fortified Green Zone, site of the American Embassy, and met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
"We come out of the meeting with a greater understanding of the others' point of view," Pelosi, a California Democrat said, in brief remarks after the al-Maliki meeting.
"We came here to convey to our troops the appreciation of the American people for what they're doing, to applaud their patriotism," she said, adding that she wished the prime minister "much success."
She also met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, to discuss the security situation and the political process in Iraq as well as ways of making the government's national reconciliation plan a success, according to Talabani's office.
Pelosi has been a sharp critic of the Bush administration's conduct of the war and has led a drive in Congress against sending 21,500 more troops to the effort as part of a new security crackdown in Baghdad.
Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran, has been a longtime critic of the war.