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Obama to immediately start on Iraq, economy: spokesman

WASHINGTON: Barack Obama's first order of business as US president will be to direct the military to exit Iraq and task his economic team with pulling the nation out of recession, his spokesman said Sunday.

Incoming White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said also that Obama's inaugural speech was more or less complete, as the president-elect prepared to kick off three days of celebrations with a concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

"First he's going to meet with his economic team to see where we are on an economic recovery and re-investment plan. so that the American people can feel confident that things are moving in the right direction," Gibbs said.

"And he'll also meet with military advisers to talk about the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "The goal of the meeting certainly as it relates to Iraq is to keep our commitment to remove responsibly and safely our troops, our combat brigades over the course of the next 16 months."

Obama is vowing to redeploy the military from Iraq and power up the US offensive against a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, the crucible of outgoing President George W. Bush's "war on terror."

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