Obama: US Combat Troops Out of Iraq By Next August
By Kent Klein
20 October 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States still plans to remove all its combat troops from Iraq by next August. Mr. Obama met Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
After the meeting, President Obama told reporters he assured the Iraqi leader that the United States will stand by its commitment to withdraw its troops on schedule.
"I reemphasized my commitment to Prime Minister Maliki that we will have our combat troops out of Iraq by August of next year, and all of our troops out of Iraq by 2011," Mr. Obama said.
Mr. Obama also said he is watching closely for Iraq's parliament to pass a law to provide the legal basis for a national election in January.
"We are very interested, both of us, in making sure that Iraq has an election law that is completed on time, so that elections can take place on time in January," Mr. Obama said. "That is consistent with the transition that has been taking place."
Before meeting with the president, Mr. Maliki attended a U.S.-Iraq business investment conference in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Iraqi leader, with support from the Obama administration, is trying to persuade American businesses to invest in Iraq and help the country rebuild.
Mr. Maliki said U.S.-Iraq relations have moved beyond security issues, and are now dealing with trade and commerce.
"Our relations today have moved along and are not only confined to security cooperation, but today have moved to economic development, to providing prosperity for the Iraqi people."
Mr. Obama said he was also glad to expand the discussions to include opportunities for the two countries to develop a healthy trade relationship.
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