Published: Dec 12, 2011 2:31 PM EST

WASHINGTON,   Today President Obama meets with the Iraqi Prime Minister at the White House.
     The two leaders will discuss the next phase of the relationship between the two countries after the troops move out.
  President Obama and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have pledged to maintain strong ties,  but the partnership between washington and baghdad remains murky,  especially as the withdrawal of all american troops is only three weeks away.
 Today's  meeting is expected to focus heavily on cooperative security measures in Iraq without the presence of American troops.
     Iraqi leaders have asked for military training help for security forces.
     The type of help and protection for American trainers is still up in the air.
    al-Maliki has insisted that Iraq will chart its future according to its own national interests, not the dictates of Iran or any other country.
     The U.S. has warned that  even with the draw down it will maintain a significant presence there.
     About 16 thousand people work at the U.S Embassy in Baghdad, America's largest mission in the world.
     The number of U.S troops in Iraq has dwindled to about six thousand.
     That's down from 170 thousand at the war's peak in 2007.
    The two leaders are also expected to discuss cooperation on energy, trade, and education.
    The two will also hold a joint news conference at the White House at 11:30 this morning,  followed up by a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.