Washington: As Iraq moves forward on the path of reconstruction and economic revival with the end of war and withdrawal of American forces from the country, it is expected to grow much faster than the two Asian giants, India and China, US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday.

"In the coming years, it's estimated that Iraq's economy will grow even faster than China's or India's.

With oil production rising, Iraq is on track to once again be one of the region's leading oil producers," Obama said at a joint news conference with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Obama said as in the coming days the last American soldiers will leave its borders, Iraq is now forging new ties of trade and commerce with its neighbours and Iraq is assuming its rightful place among the community of nations.

"For the first time in two decades, Iraq is scheduled to host the next Arab League summit. And what a powerful message that will send throughout the Arab world," he said.

"People throughout the region will see a new Iraq that's determining its own destiny, a country in which people from different religious sects and ethnicities can resolve their differences peacefully through the democratic process," he said, adding that the US will a long-term partnership with Iraq.


"This is in keeping with our strategic framework agreement, and it will be like the close relationships we have with other sovereign nations,"he said.

"This is a historic moment. A war is ending. A new day is upon us. And let us never forget those who gave us this chance: the untold number of Iraqis who've given their lives; more than 1 million Americans, military and civilian, who have served in Iraq; nearly 4,500 fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion; tens of thousands of wounded warriors and so many inspiring military families," Obama said.

The Iraqi Prime Minister said that the relationship with the US will not end with the departure of the last American soldier.

(Agencies)