US troops to pull out from Iraq by 2011 end
Washington, Oct 22 - US President Barack Obama Friday announced that all US troops stationed in Iraq will pull out of that country by the end of this year.
Obama made the statement after speaking with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki via video conference, Xinhua reported.
The US president said both leaders agreed to the decision.
"After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," Obama said.
Over 4,400 US solders have lost their lives in the war.
Obama said that after the pull-out from Iraq, the relationship between the two countries will be "one normal relationship between sovereign nations".
He said he will be welcoming Maliki to the White House for a visit in December.
Obama vowed the US will have "strong and enduring partnership" with Iraq, which he defined as "an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect".
After ending combat mission in Iraq last year, the US military's role there has been mostly about training and advising. There are about 40,000 US troops in Iraq at present.
Obama said that by ending the Iraq war, the US administration can focus more on the ailing economy.
"After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own, an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we've restored our leadership around the globe," said the president. (IANS)