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Obama congratulates Iraqi President and PM

world Updated: Feb 03, 2009 09:50 IST

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US President Barack Obama has telephoned his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani and its Prime Minister Nouri-al-Maliki to congratulate them on the successful completion of provincial elections in the war-torn nation.

During the telephonic conversation, the US President described to them the decision taken by his administration to withdraw American troops from the country in next 16 months, the White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said.

"President Obama described the review of US planning on options for executing a responsible military drawdown that he directed on the first day of his administration," Gibbs said.

Obama reiterated his commitment to consult with the Iraqi Government as the process moves forward, the spokesperson said.

"The elections took place with little violence and should mark an additional step toward Iraq assuming greater responsibility for its future," Obama told the Iraqi leadership according to White House spokesperson.

"The President offered the best wishes of the American people as Iraq's new provincial leaders begin to assume important new responsibilities on behalf of the Iraqi people," Gibbs said.

Over the weekend, Obama had congratulated people of Iraq on successful completion of provincial elections and had hoped that this would help the Iraqis in taking the responsibilities on their own.