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Iraqi PM to Meet with US President


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington next week.

The White House released a statement Wednesday saying the two leaders will meet on July 22 to discuss "a broad agenda of issues of mutual concern."

The statement said the U.S. and Iraq have a close relationship and are partners in building a "stable and self-reliant Iraq" through trade, education and the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

The United States currently has about 128,000 troops in Iraq.

Iraqi forces have assumed responsibility for security in major cities, following last month's withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from urban centers.

The U.S. pullback is part of a U.S.-Iraq security deal that sets a timeline for the pullout of all U.S. forces by the end of 2011.

Earlier this week, an Iraqi delegation led by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.

Iraq's Foreign Affairs Ministry has released a statement saying the meeting, Monday, focused on reviewing U.N. resolutions imposed on Iraq during the reign of former leader Saddam Hussein.

The statement said Iraqi officials stressed the country's progress in fulfilling international obligations. The officials also called for a specific time to release Iraq from the "sanctions and the consequences of Chapter VII."

Chapter VII of the United Nation's charter states the U.N. Security Council shall "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and make recommendations to restore peace and security.


Some information for this report was provided by AP

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