Iraqi prime minister, Obama to meet

As the United States continues down the road to military withdrawal from Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will visit President Obama at the White House next week.

In a statement announcing the visit, the White House said, "The United States and Iraq enjoy a close relationship and are partners in building a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq through the responsible withdrawal of U.S. forces and the encouragement of new ties in trade, commerce, culture and education."

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The White House said Obama "looks forward to consulting with the prime minister on a broad agenda of issues of mutual concern."

Vice President Biden, who has been acting in an overseer role on withdrawal from Iraq, traveled to the country for an extended stay earlier this month. During that time, he met with Iraqi officials and U.S. military commanders.

Biden's visit to the country came just days after U.S. troops withdrew from major Iraqi cities and towns.