Today, President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki met at the White House.
President Obama met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today to discuss a broad range of issues, including the future role of the United States in Iraq. This meeting comes three weeks after all U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities, and transferred power to Iraq’s security forces. During a joint press availability with Prime Minister al-Maliki, President Obama said:
"Recently, we took an important step forward by transferring control of all Iraqi cities and towns to Iraq’s security forces. This transition was part of our security agreement, and should send an unmistakable signal that we will keep our commitments with the sovereign Iraqi government. As I said before, we seek no bases in Iraq, nor do we make any claim on Iraq’s territory or resources.
Going forward, we will continue to provide training and support for Iraqi security forces that are capable and nonsectarian. We'll move forward with our strategy to responsibly remove all American combat brigades from Iraq by the end of next August, and to fulfill our commitment to remove all American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
As we move forward, Prime Minister Maliki and I have no doubt that there will be some tough days ahead. There will be attacks on Iraqi security forces and the American troops supporting them. There are still those in Iraq who would murder innocent men, women and children. There are still those who want to foment sectarian conflict. But make no mistake: Those efforts will fail.
The Iraqi people have already rejected these forces of division and destruction. And American troops have the capability, the support and flexibility they need to stand with our Iraqi partners on behalf of a sovereign, secure, and self-reliant Iraq. Because we believe that the future does not belong to those who would destroy -- it belongs to those who would build.
To that end, America strongly supports efforts by the Iraqi government to promote national unity, which will help ensure that people in all parts of Iraq can live in peace and prosperity."
Read the President's joint press availability with Prime Minister al-Maliki.