The story

Sen. Barack Obama said he found "a strong, emerging consensus" for the redeployment of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki telling Obama he hoped American combat troops will be gone in two years.

Violence in Iraq has declined significantly, but "political progress, reconciliation and economic development continue to lag," Obama said in a statement with two senators who toured Iraq with him -- Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat, and Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican.

"America has a strategic opportunity to build a new kind of partnership with Iraq," Obama and his colleagues said, "and to refocus our foreign policy on the many other pressing challenges around the world -- starting with the resurgence of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Read full article »

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Frederik Pleitgen and Alexander Mooney contributed to this report.

All About Barack ObamaAfghanistanHamid KarzaiIraq

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