U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the relations between U.S. and Iraq were evolving into economy, trade and commerce and no longer exclusively security-related.
We didn't just talk about military and security issues, Obama said after talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
What is wonderful about this trip is that it represents a transition in our bilateral relationship so that we are moving now to issues beyond security and we are beginning to talk about economy, trade, commerce, he said.
We've seen over the last several months’ progress being made on providing clarification about investment laws inside of Iraq, Obama said.
There are obviously enormous opportunities for our countries to do business together, he continued.
Obama repeated his pledge to have U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by August of next year and all troops out by 2011.
He urged the Iraqi leader to ensure nationwide elections to take place in January and parliament must pass the necessary legislation in time.
We are very interested, both of us, in making sure that Iraq has an election law that is completed on time so that elections can take place on time in January, Obama said.
Al-Maliki also urged Obama to assist with the annulment of all UN sanctions.