Speaking during a visit to Tokyo, a supporter of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, al-Maliki said the timeline for U.S. troops' departure will be determined by the Iraqi government's confidence in the handover process.
"To demand the departure of the troops is a democratic right, and it's a right we respect," al-Maliki said. "This right is like the one practiced by the U.S. Congress, and it is also being practiced by organizations within Iraq. And this is natural. And what governs their departure at the end of the day is how confident we are, how reassured we are, about the handover process, and how sound the handover process should be according to the international resolutions."
Al-Maliki is on a four-day tour of Japan, which supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and has committed to invest in development projects there. Al-Maliki said he was confident major Japanese companies will cooperate with Iraq in the oil industry and other fields.
Meanwhile, at least 20 people have died in attacks in Iraq today.
In the capital, a car bombing killed five people and wounded another 10 near Baghdad University.
Another person was killed and 15 wounded in a separate Baghdad attack.
A female suicide bomber blew herself up outside a police station in Al-Miqdadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, killing at least 14 other people.
Separately today, the U.S. military reported the deaths of four soldiers in Iraq on April 9.