`US partnership with Iraq based on mutual respect`

The US President Barack Obama has vowed to have enduring partnership with Iraq based on mutual interest and respect.

Washington: The US President Barack Obama
has vowed to have enduring partnership with Iraq based on mutual interest and respect.

"Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to
Iraq`s future is not," Obama said in his address to the nation
from his Oval Office as he announced the end of combat mission
in Iraq.

A transitional force of US troops will remain in Iraq,
he said, with a different mission: advising and assisting
Iraq`s Security Forces; supporting Iraqi troops in targeted
counter-terrorism missions; and protecting our civilians.

"Consistent with our agreement with Iraqi government,
all US troops would leave by the end of next year. As our
military draws down, our dedicated civilians diplomats, aid
workers, and advisors are moving into the lead to support
Iraq as it strengthens its government, resolves political
disputes, resettles those displaced by war, and builds ties
with the region and the world," Obama said.

He said this new approach reflects the US long-term
partnership with Iraq one based upon mutual interests, and
mutual respect.

"Of course, violence will not end with our combat
mission. Extremists will continue to set off bombs, attack
Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife," Obama

"But ultimately, these terrorists will fail to achieve
their goals. Iraqis are a proud people. They have rejected
sectarian war, and they have no interest in endless
destruction. They understand that, in the end, only Iraqis can
resolve their differences and police their streets, he said.

The President said that "only Iraqis can build a
democracy within their borders and America will provide
support for the Iraqi people as both a friend and a partner."
Obama said ending the combat mission in Iraq was his
pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office.

"We have removed nearly 100,000 US troops from Iraq.
We have closed or transferred hundreds of bases to the Iraqis.
And we have moved millions of pieces of equipment out of Iraq.
This completes a transition to Iraqi responsibility for their
own security.
"US troops pulled out of Iraq`s cities last summer,
and Iraqi forces have moved into the lead with considerable
skill and commitment to their fellow citizens," Obama said.
"Even as Iraq continues to suffer terrorist attacks,
security incidents have been near the lowest on record since
the war began. And Iraqi forces have taken the fight to al
Qaeda, removing much of its leadership in Iraqi-led
operations," said the US President.


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