VP Biden's Address to US-Iraq Higher Coordinating Cmte

As I stated before, our nations are embarking on a new phase of our relationship. Our military forces are going to draw down. There will still be security concerns, but we are confident your government is fully capable of handling those internal security concerns. And by far from leaving Iraq, the United States is going to deepen our engagement with you as we build a comprehensive relationship with a sovereign power.

And under the leadership of our able ambassador, in my view one of the best ambassadors -- I mean this sincerely, I’ve been doing this a long time, Mr. Prime Minister, you have gotten our best, our very best in Ambassador Jeffrey; and you know you got our best in General Austin.

And under their leadership, under Jeffrey’s leadership now, his mission as I said is going to be staffed by serious, serious, serious civilian experts at his disposal and at your disposal as you wish them -- only if you wish them.

The next milestone in what will be a historic month in our relationship will come in less than two weeks when you and President Obama and I -- when President Obama and I welcome you, Mr. Prime Minister, and your delegation to Washington.

Mr. Prime Minister, the President and I -- and I speak for the President -- we very much look forward to your visit. And we thank you and the Iraq government for your leadership. And we look forward -- we look forward to building a mature 21st century relationship with a nation that has much, much to contribute to the world and to the region.

Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.

(Source: US Embassy)

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