MALIKI'S TRIP

Obama: 'Progress Has Been Made'

Standing side by side at a joint press conference at the White House's Rose Garden on Wednesday afternoon, President Obama and Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke positively about America's troop withdrawal and the "rebuilding of a nation destroyed by dictatorship and war," as Maliki characterized his country. Obama affirmed his troop withdrawal timetable, saying the United States will "seek no bases" or "resources" from Iraq. Maliki thanked the "sons and daughters" of both America and Iraq, saying they had "succeeded" in their mission to stabilize and integrate Iraq, and noted the value of commercial relations between the two nations. As Maliki spoke about the "strategic friendship" between the U.S. and Iraq, Obama—listening to a simultaneous interpretation via an earpiece—nodded with a bent head. Obama also announced that Maliki will visit Arlington Cemetery.