News / USA

    Obama, Maliki Hail 'New Chapter' for Iraq Without US Troops

    President Barack Obama and Iraq's PM Nouri al-Maliki lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Monday,  at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 12, 2011
    President Barack Obama and Iraq's PM Nouri al-Maliki lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Monday, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 12, 2011

    U.S. President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki say their countries will maintain strong security, diplomatic and economic ties after the last U.S. combat forces withdraw at the end of the year.  

    With less than three weeks before the last U.S. combat troops leave Iraq, and nearly nine years after the U.S. invaded to oust Saddam Hussein, President Obama and Prime Minister Maliki sat down to discuss the future of the U.S.-Iraq relationship.

    As a presidential candidate in 2008, Mr. Obama pledged a "responsible" end to a war begun by his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, and among the most politically divisive conflicts in U.S. history.

    Mr. Obama said he has fulfilled that pledge, and in a joint news conference with Mr. Maliki emphasized that while Iraqis are now responsible for their own security, the U.S. commitment to Iraq's stability and security will not diminish. "We have got an enormous investment of blood and treasure in Iraq, and we want to make sure that even as we bring the last troops out, it is well understood both in Iraq and here in the United States that our commitment to Iraq's success is going to be enduring," he said.

    Mr. Obama said Iraq faces challenges, including continual attacks by "those who seek to derail Iraq's progress" but said he is confident Iraq can succeed.

    He said he and Mr. Maliki reaffirmed a "common vision" of a long-term comprehensive partnership, including cooperation in security, counter-terrorism, economic development and strengthening Iraq's institutions.

    Mr. Maliki said the U.S. withdrawal symbolizes a successful first stage of the new relationship. "We have proven success on the first mission, a very unique success, nobody imagined that we would succeed in defeating terrorism and the al-Qaida.  We must also establish the necessary steps in order to succeed in our second stage which is the enduring relationship under the Strategic Framework Agreement," he said.

    U.S.-Iraq discussions continue on implementation of a Strategic Framework Agreement, and on U.S. training for Iraqi forces.  An agreement on that eluded both sides over the past year.

    Mr. Obama noted that the U.S. will have no bases in Iraq.  He said a large U.S. diplomatic mission will help support building effective diplomatic, civilian and military-to-military ties.  

    The president mentioned training for Iraq's use of F-16 fighters it purchased, possible joint military exercises, and joint counter-terrorism operations.  The White House confirmed that the Obama administration notified Congress of its intent to sell Iraq another group of F-16s.

    President Obama paid tribute to the more than one million Americans who served in Iraq, 4,500 fallen Americans and thousands wounded, as well as Iraqis who gave their lives. "They are the reason that we can stand here today and we owe it to every single one of them, we have a moral obligation to all of them, to build a future worthy of their sacrifice," he said.

    The two men then made the short trip from the White House to Arlington National Cemetery where they jointly laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, a memorial honoring U.S. soldiers whose remains have not been identified.

    President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama travel Wednesday to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where they will speak directly to U.S. troops and thank them again for their sacrifices.

    Monday's White House talks came against the backdrop of concerns U.S. and Iraqi officials have that the U.S. withdrawal could lead to weakened security and an upsurge in violence.

    Mr. Obama was asked about a comment he made as a presidential candidate describing the war in Iraq as a "dumb war."  He said "history will judge the original decision to go into Iraq, adding it is "absolutely clear" that sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers and civilians, and the courage of Iraq's people, made possible an Iraq that is self-governing, inclusive and with enormous potential.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora