WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said U.S.-Iraqi ties are entering a new period, a change marked by a decreased emphasis on security and an increased focus on the economy.
Appearing before reporters Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki - in Washington to attend the two-day Iraq Investment and Business Conference and meet with American officials - Obama said the men discussed a wide-range of issues and didn't fixate on security or the military.
"What is wonderful about this trip is that it represents a transition in our bilateral relationship, so that we are moving now to issues beyond security and we are beginning to talk about economy, trade, commerce," the president said.
Obama cited Iraq's "continuing progress," strides on investment and "a commitment to democratic politics." He also cited the election legislation delayed in Iraq's parliament because of disagreement on several issues. The scheduled January 16 parliamentary elections might not be held if legislation isn't passed soon.