The Iraqi government says it welcomes President Barack Obama's pledge to withdraw American troops from the country in a responsible manner.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says Iraqi security forces are "doing their best to be fully ready" to meet the deadlines imposed under a new security pact.
The deal requires all US troops be withdrawn by the end of 2011. Obama has promised to end the Iraq war but says he'll do so responsibly to avoid jeopardizing security gains.
Al-Dabbagh says he understands the economic burden of the war on the United States but that "any decision related to Iraq should be made jointly between the two countries."
He spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday after Obama's inaugural address.