Shared sacrifices allowed Iraq war to end: Biden | Pakistan Today

Shared sacrifices allowed Iraq war to end: Biden

US Vice President Joe Biden thanked US and Iraqi forces on Thursday for their shared sacrifices, saying they had made it possible to end the war. “We’re gathered here to thank the armed forces of Iraq and America, and to honour your sacrifice, to honour your success, as well as your commitment,” Biden said at a ceremony at Al-Faw palace in the sprawling Victory Base Complex near the capital.
“Because of you … and the work those of you in uniform have done, we are now able to end this war,” Biden said at the ceremony attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani and US ambassador James Jeffrey.
“All of you sitting before me today have laid the foundation for a long-term strategic partnership between our nations, and also for an Iraq that, against all odds, can serve as a source of stability not only for its people, but here in the region, and for years to come.
“I think it’s fair to say, almost no one thought that was possible a few years ago,” Biden said.
US President Barack Obama announced on October 21 that US troops would leave Iraq by the end of 2011, bringing to a close an almost nine-year war that has left thousands of US soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, and cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
“President Obama and I came to office absolutely determined to bring this war to a responsible end.
“At the end of this month, we will keep our promise to remove our remaining troops from Iraq.”
About 13,800 US soldiers are still in the country, and seven US bases remain to be handed over, according to US military spokesman Major General Jeffrey Buchanan.

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