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Update (1:05 p.m. EST): The press conference is over.

Update (1:03 p.m. EST): "The size of our embassy, in terms of diplomats, is going to be comparable to other countries elsewhere in the world," Obama says of the diplomatic mission to Baghdad. But security personnel will be more.

Update (1:01 p.m. EST): Al-Maliki said he hopes Iraq can buy more fighter jets from the United States -- Obama said the country had already bought F-16s -- and said "both of us need each other, and need cooperation, especially in terms of chasing Al Qaeda."

Update (12:58 p.m. EST): Obama said the troop withdrawal marks the beginning of "normalization" of U.S.-Iraq relations, and said there would be no U.S. military bases there in future.

Update (12:54 p.m. EST): Asked whether the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a "dumb war," as he said in 2002, Obama said "history will judge the decision" to invade.

Update (12:50 p.m. EST): "We think a successful, democratic Iraq could be a model for the entire region," Obama said, referring to the "enormous investment of blood and treasure" by the U.S. in Iraq. He had earlier said the country's economy would grow faster than that of India or China over the next year as Iraq develops its oil resources.

Update (12:47 p.m. EST): Obama ackowledged "tactical differences" between Iraq and the United States in regards to Syria, where violent unrest has simmered for months. But Al-Maliki said Iraq would act in its own interest, not Iran's.

At a White House news conference on Monday, President Barack Obama appeared with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, announcing that, "after 9 years, our war in Iraq ends this month." The president stressed the importance of Iraq's sovereignty, saying, "Just as Iraq has pledged not to interfere in other nations, other nations have pledged not to interfere in Iraq," according to Reuters's Anthony De Rosa. Al-Maliki, for his part, also pledged not to take on "any missions that violate the sovereignty of others" on the same day NATO announced it was officially ending its training mission in Iraq. Maliki said Iraq "needs American experience and expertise" to help it exploit its resources, and said he hoped American companies would have "the largest role in increasing our wealth in the areas of oil and other resources as well." The press conference had been scheduled for 11:35 a.m., but got started late. You can see the question-and-answer period on the White House's live stream, below.



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