Night of barbecue, fireworks on tap at White House

July 4, 2009 5:13:08 PM PDT
President Barack Obama says Iraq's independence is an extraordinary accomplishment but that its transition won't be without problems. In remarks to military families visiting the White House for Fourth of July festivities, Obama said "there will be difficult days ahead." He added that the United States will "remain a strong partner to the Iraqi people on behalf of their security and prosperity."

Combat troops withdrew from Iraqi cities this week as part of a security pact that calls for a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Obama told the military families that because of the "courage and capability" of every American who has served in Iraq, the country is now taking control of its own future.

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