The Iraqi government said Thursday that U.S. President-elected Barack Obama has called Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and confirmed his commitment to responsible withdrawal for U.S. troops from Iraq.
In a statement issued by Maliki's office, Obama pledged to Maliki in his call late on Wednesday that his country will "respect the sovereignty of Iraq and integration of its land, along with working together to ward off terrorists and responsible withdrawal."
Obama also thanked Maliki's government for its efforts in gaining parliament's approval of a security pact that stated U.S. troops will pullout in three years.
Maliki said he is keen to promote bilateral relations in the framework of strategic cooperation agreement that would serve the interests of the two countries, the statement said.
During his election campaign, Obama had said that he intends to get the American soldiers in Iraq home within 16 months after carrying the post of commander in chief.
Late last month, Iraq signed a key security agreement which will keep the U.S. military presence here for another three years.
(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2008)