President Barack Obama says the end of the Iraq war and the death of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi are powerful reminders of America's renewed leadership in the world.

At the same time, Obama said Saturday that the United States now must tackle its "greatest challenge as a nation" -- rebuilding a weak economy and creating jobs -- with the "same urgency and unity that our troops brought to their fight."

Obama informed the nation on Friday that the long and costly war in Iraq will be over by the end of the year and that some 40,000 American servicemen and women still there "will definitely be home for the holidays."

While the troops will be gone, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that his country will continue talks with Washington on how U.S. trainers can work with Iraqi forces.

"Now that we have put this behind us, this will let us settle the issue of training," Maliki said. "Iraqis will ask to resume talks over the number of trainers, the duration [of their stay in Iraq] and how those trainers will be used."

U.S. and Iraqi officials say the local armed forces can contain violence but they need trainers to help build up air defense, maritime capabilities, intelligence gathering and moving the military to conventional warfare tactics.

Iraq will get some military training from a U.S. embassy program and from contractors who are part of a package with the U.S.-made military hardware Baghdad is purchasing, such as F-16 fighter jets and tanks.

Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address that the Iraq withdrawal and the killing of Gadhafi were part of a larger story.

"This week, we had two powerful reminders of how we've renewed American leadership in the world," Obama said. "After a decade of war, we're turning the page and moving forward, with strength and confidence."

He said withdrawing troops from Iraq has allowed the United States to focus on Afghanistan and score major victories against al-Qaida, including the killing in May of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. Troops also have been coming home from Afghanistan.

Obama said ending both wars will allow America to focus on rebuilding a weak economy so it can start creating enough jobs to reduce high levels of unemployment.

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Missing person cold case renewed … LI guitarist opens for Rolling Stones … Holocaust survivor learns to tango Credit: Newsday

Remains ID'd nearly a decade later ... Missing person cold case renewed ... Swim advisory ... Florida in a day 

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