Official: Obama to announce Iraq troop withdrawal

WASHINGTON (AP) ? A White House official says President Barack Obama will announce Friday that U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year.

The announcement will allow the U.S. to say definitively that the war in Iraq is over after eight years. The official says the partnership between the U.S. and Iraq will become a normal one between two sovereign nations.

Obama was to make the announcement at the White House after speaking to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The official said the two leaders agreed strongly that it was the best way forward. Some U.S. officials had argued for a troop presence beyond the end of the year to cement security gains.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the president’s remarks.