Obama Calls Iraq PM to Discuss Cooperation

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BAGHDAD – President-elect Barack Obama has called Iraq's prime minister and stressed his commitment to a responsible withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, the government said.

During Wednesday's call, Obama thanked Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi government for their efforts in gaining parliament's approval of a security pact that sets out a three-year timeframe for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops, according to a statement.

Obama also gave assurances he's committed to respecting Iraq's sovereignty and to a responsible withdrawal of U.S. forces, al-Maliki's press office said.

Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for the Obama transition team, said the president-elect returned calls to six world leaders, including al-Maliki, to express his appreciation for congratulations on his election. He did not give details about the conversations.

The call comes a month after Obama won the U.S. election. Obama believes resources should be reduced in Iraq and shifted to Afghanistan.

Obama also called the prime ministers of Denmark, Holland, Greece, Kuwait and Qatar and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is visiting the U.S., Shapiro said.