United Nations: Calling 2011 as a "remarkable
year" that saw the ouster of dictators like Gaddafi and
Mubarak besides the killing of Osama bin Laden, US President
Barack Obama on Wednesday said the future will be very different from
the difficult decade that the world has seen.
"I took office at a time of two wars for the United
States. Moreover, the violent extremists who drew us into war
in the first place Bureau Report Osama bin Laden, and his al Qaeda
organisation - remained at large. Today, we have set a new
direction," Obama said in his address at the general debate of
the 66th session of the UN General assembly.
He said that by the end of this year, America`s military
operation in Iraq will be over.
"We will have a normal relationship with a sovereign
nation that is a member of the community of nations.
"That equal partnership will be strengthened by our
support for Iraq - for its government and security forces; for
its people and their aspirations.
"So let there be no doubt: the tide of war is receding.
When I took office, roughly 180,000 Americans were
serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year, that
number will be cut in half, and it will continue to decline.
"This is critical to the sovereignty of Iraq and
Afghanistan, and to the strength of the United States as we
build our nation at home," he said.
Obama said the US is poised to end these wars from a
position of strength.
"So it has been a remarkable year. The Gaddafi regime is
over. Gbagbo, Ben Ali, and Mubarak are no longer in power.
Osama bin Laden is gone, and the idea that change could only
come through violence has been buried with him.
"Something is happening in our world. The way things have
been is not the way they will be," Obama said.
He added, "Ten years ago, there was an open wound of
twisted steel and broken hearts in this city. Today, as a new
tower rising at Ground Zero symbolises New York`s renewal,
al Qaeda is under more pressure than ever before.
"Its leadership has been degraded. And Osama bin Laden, a
man who murdered thousands of people from dozens of countries,
will never endanger the peace of the world again."
Obama noted that while "peace is hard," people across the
world aspire for it.
"As we end the war in Iraq, the United States and our
coalition partners have begun a transition in Afghanistan.
"Between now and 2014, an increasingly capable Afghan
government and security forces will step forward to take
responsibility for the future of their country.
"As they do, we are drawing down our own forces, while
building an enduring partnership with the Afghan people.