US President confirms troops in Iraq will be home by the holidays - 23 Oct 2011  
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Fulfilling a presidential campaign promise, US President Barack Obama on Friday, October 21 officially announced that the remaining 40,000 US troops would return to the US by the Christmas holidays.

He also pledged that as of January 1, 2012, the US will maintain a supportive diplomatic relationship with Iraq, based on equality and mutual respect between two sovereign nations, as he stated, "We’ll build new ties of trade and of commerce, culture and education that unleash the potential of the Iraqi people." 

President Obama went on to say that progress continues to be made in withdrawing military forces from Afghanistan, as security is transferred from the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the nation's personnel there.

Affirming these moves as part of a shift in focus for the United States, he said, "... The nation that we need to build – and the nation that we will build -- is our own. "

We are very glad to know of Your Excellency's advancements toward peace for your country and the world. Wishing the soldiers a safe journey home and that such endeavors continue, for harmony to prevail among all countries across the globe.,,

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