Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has arrived in Washington as US forces edge close to completing their withdrawal by the end of the year.
For the US troops, the exit after nearly nine years of war is believed to be one of the largest ever military removal jobs.
In 2007, around 165,000 US troops were on the ground as part of the surge to combat an alarming rise in violence. It is thought only around 200 will remain in the country to protect the US embassy.
According to France’s AFP news agency, Iraqi officials claim NATO has decided to withdraw its Iraq training mission by the end of the year after Baghdad refused to give it legal immunity. But the alliance has denied this, saying that no decision has yet been made.