Panetta: Military's role to be discussed with Iraq

Aboard a military aircraft (AP) _ Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that once all U.S. troops have left Iraq, the U.S. government will negotiate with the Iraqi government on a possible American role in training its land and air forces.

President Barack Obama announced Friday that all U.S. troops would depart Iraq by the end of the year. Later in the day, Panetta spoke to reporters aboard his plane en route to Bali, Indonesia.

Panetta says that the U.S. and Iraq have not yet agreed even on the number of U.S. military personnel who will be assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to facilitate Iraqi arms purchases and to conduct initial training.

Panetta offered no estimate of the number of U.S. troops that the Pentagon might be willing to provide.

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)