WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is applauding Iraq's passage of legislation governing its upcoming election, saying it strengthens democracy even in the face of growing terrorism.

Biden says the step reminds the world that Iraq's leaders are committed to compromise and progress. He says the United States will work to ensure the elections go well and that the results reflect the Iraqi people.

Iraq on Monday picked April 30, 2014, for national elections, and Iraq's parliament increased its number of seats from 325 to 328.

Biden last week held three days of meetings in Washington with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee), including one with President Barack Obama.

Al-Maliki hasn't ruled out seeking a third term next year, even though his opponents charge his administration is a dictatorship in the making.