President Obama announced Friday that all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011.

The president spoke at about 12:45 p.m. EDT after completing a secure video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“This will allow us to say definitively that the Iraq war is over, and that the partnership between the U.S. and Iraq will be a normal one between two sovereign nations,” a White House official said. “During their conversation, President Obama and PM Maliki strongly agreed that this is the best way forward for both countries.