BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The chief U.S. diplomat vacated the embassy in Baghdad yesterday and flew out with envoys from eight other countries.
Charge d'affaires Joseph C. Wilson said that he was sad to leave and that he hoped to come back.
"No matter how bad the relationship is [with Iraq], we will eventually want to rebuild it," he said.
He left on an Iraqi Airways chartered Boeing 727, bound for Frankfurt. Mr. Wilson said he carried a U.S. flag that had flown over the embassy on Aug. 2 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. He would give it to the president "when I see him, hopefully in a few days."
The embassy offered space on the plane to other Americans and to other diplomats.
Embassy officials said there are more than 100 Americans -- not counting journalists -- still in Iraq. Most have dual citizenship, and many are married to Iraqis.