Iraqi PM: Optimistic about agreement with US on troop presence

Iraq's prime minister says his country and the United States are still in discussions about how long American troops will stay in the country. Speaking to reporters in the German capital Wednesday, Nouri al-Maliki said that the "negotiations are still ongoing" but added that there could be a "big step forward on the principles of the withdrawal." Al-Maliki is wrapping up a two-day visit in Germany amid controversy over an interview published by German magazine Der Spiegel with him this week. In it, al-Maliki's remarks indicated he supports Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's proposal for a withdrawal of US combat forces in Iraq in 16 months. Al-Maliki's office later said his comments were misinterpreted.