25 Jul 2009

Hint of longer US role in Iraq

7:13 am on 25 July 2009

Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has hinted that US forces could stay in Iraq beyond the current deadline of 2011.

In a speech in Washington on Friday, he reiterated that the troop presence is due to end on 31 December 2011, under a bilateral agreement.

"Nevertheless, if the Iraqi forces required further training and further support, we shall examine this then at that time," he said.

US troops pulled out of Iraqi cities and towns at the end of June.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama said the United States would stick to the withdrawal deadline.