12 December 2011 Last updated at
Iraq PM Maliki visits Washington amid US troop pull-out
US troops are due to leave by the end of the year
Iraq's prime minister has arrived in Washington to open a "new chapter" in US-Iraqi relations, the White House said, as American forces complete their withdrawal.
Nouri Maliki will meet US President Barack Obama on Monday as part of two days of talks, officials said.
The visit comes amid concerns for the stability of Iraq as US forces leave after an eight-year presence.
US troops are due to complete their pullout by the end of the year.
Mr Maliki will also meet Vice-President Joe Biden and US lawmakers for talks which will cover issues relating to security, energy, education and justice, the White House said.
It is Mr Maliki's third visit to the US since he came to power in 2006.
The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says the withdrawal is a momentous change, but it does not mean a complete end to US influence.
About 150 military trainers and several hundred private contractors are working with the Iraqi forces.
Iraqi leaders admit they still need help to meet any threat to their borders and airspace.
So some kind of continuing strategic relationship is envisaged - but its exact nature is the subject of Mr Maliki's discussions in Washington, our correspondent says.
It is a delicate issue for the Shia-dominated government of Mr Maliki, who essentially owes his position to Iran's support, our correspondent adds.
He says the Americans - and some Iraqis - are worried about an upsurge of Iranian influence, and perhaps a resurgence of the Shia militias, once the US troops have gone.
On Wednesday, to mark the pullout, Mr Obama will address returning soldiers at a base in North Carolina.
Meanwhile, Iraq's top security adviser, Falah al-Fayadh, said Nato has decided to withdraw its Iraq training mission by the end of the year after Baghdad refused to give it legal immunity, according to AFP news agency.
But a Nato official denied the claim, telling the news agency that no decision had yet been made.
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