Obama: After Nine Years, U.S. War in Iraq Ending

President says troops will be home for Christmas, and war will end this month.
3:00 | 12/12/11

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Transcript for Obama: After Nine Years, U.S. War in Iraq Ending
When I took office. Nearly 150000. American troops were deployed in Iraq. My pledge to end this war responsible. Today. Only several thousand troops remain there and more are coming home every day. This season upon Cummins. And military families across America. Are being reunited for the -- -- In coming days the last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq. With honor. -- with their heads held high. After nearly nine years. Our war in Iraq ends this month. Today I'm proud to welcome prime minister. All you're elected leader a sovereign. Self reliant. And democratic. We're here to mark the end of this war. To honor the sacrifices from all those who made this day possible. Can't turn the page. Begin new chapter in the history between our countries. Normal relationship. Between sovereign nations. An equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect. Rock faces great challenges but today reflects an impressive progress that Iraqis have made. Millions have cast their ballots. Some risking. Or giving their lives to vote and free elections. Prime minister leaves Iraq's most inclusive government yet. Rockies are working to build institutions that are fish. And independent. And transparent. Economically Iraqis continue to invest in their infrastructure and development. And I think it's worth considering some remarkable statistics. In the coming years it's estimated that Iraq's economy will grow even faster. Than China's -- India's. Although production rising Iraq is on track to once again be one of the region's leading oil producers. With respect to security. Iraqi forces have been in the lead for the better part three years. Patrolling the streets dismantling -- Conducting counterterrorism operations. Today despite. Continued attacks by those who seek to derail Iraq's progress. Violence remains at record walls. Mr. prime minister that's tribute to your leadership. And to the -- and the sacrifices. Of Iraqi forces. Across the region rockets forging new ties of trade and commerce with its neighbors. And rockets assuming its rightful place among the community of nations. For the first time in two decades Iraq is scheduled to host the next Arab League summit. And what -- powerful message that will send throughout the Arab world. People throughout the region will see a new Iraq that's determining its August. -- country in which people from different religious sects and at this these can resolve their differences peacefully. Through the democratic process. Mr. prime minister as we in this war. And as a rock faces its future. Iraqi People must know. That you'll not stand alone. -- have -- strong and -- -- in the united states of rumor. And so today the prime minister and I -- reaffirm our common vision of a long term partnership between our nations. -- in keeping with our strategic framework agreement and it will be like -- close relationships we have with other sovereign nations. Simply put we are building a comprehensive partnership. Which prime minister you've -- that Iraqis seek democracy. A state of citizens and not -- So were partnered to strengthen the institutions on which Iraq's democracy depends. Re elections. -- across the strong civil society. Professional police and law enforcement the old rule of law. And independent judiciary that delivers justice fairly. And transparent institutions. That serve all rockets. We're partnering to expand our -- and -- Will make it easier for businesses that export and innovate together. We'll share our experiences and agriculture and health. Work together to develop Iraq's energy sector. Even as the Iraqi economy diversify -- it will deepen Iraq's integration into the global economy. We're partnering to expand the ties between our citizens especially our young people. Through efforts like the Fulbright program welcoming more Iraqi students and future leaders to America to study and form friendships that will bind. Our nations together for generations to come. Will work more collaborations in areas like science technology. Will partner -- that are shared security. Mr. prime minister. We discussed how the United States could help the -- train and equip its forces. Not -- stationing American troops there or with the US bases in Iraq those days are over. But rather the kind of training and assistance we offer to other -- Given the challenges we face together in a rapidly changing region. We also agreed to establish -- new formal channel of communication between our national security advisors. Finally we're partnering for regional security. Just as a rock has pledged not to interfere in other nations other nations must not interfere. In Iraq. Rock sovereignty must be respect. Meanwhile there should be no doubt the draw down in Iraq has allowed us to refocus our resources. Achieve progress in Afghanistan. What al-Qaeda on the path to defeat and to better prepare for the full range of challenges. Lie at. So make no mistake. Our strong presence. In the Middle East indoors in the United States will never waver in defense of our allies. Or partners. Or interests. This group shared vision that prime minister Maliki and I reaffirmed today. An equal partnership. A broad relationship that advances the security. The prosperity. And the aspirations. Of both our people. Mr. prime minister you've -- it yourself. Building a strong and durable relationship between our two countries as much I could not agree more. -- -- -- -- A -- -- A new day is upon us. And let us never forget those who gave us this -- The untold number of Iraqis who have given their lives. More than one million Americans military and civilians who have served in rock. Nearly 4500. Fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of -- Tens of thousands of wounded warriors and so many inspiring military forums. They are the reason that we can stand here today. We ought to -- every single one up. We have a moral obligation. To all. To build a future worthy of their -- --

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