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Al-Maliki en route to Washington for coordination talks

BAGHDAD, Dec 11 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki left to the United States on Sunday for top-level talks on bilateral ties and issues of joint concern, according to an official statement.
The statement, released by the premier's office, indicated that Al-Maliki, accompanied by a team of ranking officials, would discuss with American leaders issues such as training of Iraqi military and security personnel, armament and US investments in his country.
Ties between the US and Iraq have been very close and strategic since ouster of the Baath regime of the executed dictator, Saddam Hussein, in 2003.
The US, which carried out a major, allied, military campaign to oust the regime of the dictator, is conducting final withdrawal of its forces from Iraq, at present.
A number of US personnel may be left behind in Iraq, following the pullout of the forces, for logistical and training purposes. (end) ah.rk KUNA 111119 Dec 11NNNN