President Obama hosted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at the White House. In addition to private consultations, they held a joint news conference. There are three weeks to go before the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.
In an Associated Press interview last week, the Prime Minister said that Iraq will follow its own national interests in making future decisions, not the dictates of Iran or any other country. "Iraq is not a follower of any country," al-Maliki said.
Some U.S. military officials have worried publicly that Iran might fill the vacuum of influence left once the American military presence departs.
About 13,000 U.S. troops are still in that country, down from a high of about 170,000 during the war.