Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki on Saturday said that the announcement of U.S. troop withdrawal by the end of the year will not have impacts on the security situation in Iraq.
"The security situation in Iraq will not be affected by the withdrawal of the U.S. troops because the security file was under control of the Iraqi security forces since 2008," Maliki said in a news conference here.
"The withdrawal would remove all the justifications claimed by terrorist groups including al-Qaida to spill blood (carry out deadly attacks)," Maliki said.
Maliki said that the U.S. troop withdrawal is a "historic occasion" for the Iraqi people and the armed forces which will confirm that they are capable of controlling the security situation in the country.
Maliki added that the U.S. side stopped negotiations about the number of U.S. trainers to stay in the country and whether they would be granted legal immunity after the Iraqi political leaders announced last month they agreed on the training mission, but rejected granting them immunity.
"The training issue will be added to contracts of purchasing weapons," he said. "This issue will be easy."
He confirmed that all the U.S. military bases will be closed by the end of the year, adding that about 30,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed now in about 20 military bases across the country, and they will withdraw from the country as scheduled in the security agreement.
Maliki thanked the U.S. administration for its commitment to the agreement and considered U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement a success for both Iraq and the United States.
Maliki's comments came a day after Obama announced all U.S. troops stationed in Iraq will pull out of the country by the end of this year, and the Iraq War will be over.
Under a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington in 2008, the United States would pull out all its troops from Iraq by Dec. 31. But Washington has been negotiating with Iraq on leaving some of its troops behind as trainers. Whether the troops would have immunity was said to be the sticking point in discussions.