Obama to speak on U.S.-Iraq "security relationship"

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 21, 2011 12:33 PM
Obama to speak on U.S.-Iraq "security relationship"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will make a statement at 12.45 pm ET on Friday about the "security relationship" between the United States and Iraq, signaling a final decision on whether or not U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by a year-end deadline.

Obama will speak following a video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the White House said in a statement.

The two countries have been negotiating over whether the United States would leave behind up to several thousand military trainers after year-end, or if all remaining troops would depart as planned by December 31. The main sticking point has been legal immunity for any U.S. forces that remain.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalanick and Alister Bull)