12 December 2011
Last updated at 15:23 GMT
Maliki has visited the US three times since coming to power in 2006
Iraq’s prime minister is in Washington for talks on a new relationship with the US as American troops prepare to complete their withdrawal.
Nouri Maliki will meet President Barack Obama on Monday, while Iraq’s foreign minister will meet Hillary Clinton.
The visit comes amid concerns for the stability of Iraq as US forces leave after an eight-year presence.
Talks are expected to include whether US troops can return to assist Iraqi forces, and the fate of a US detainee.
US troops are due to complete their pullout by the end of the year, and no agreement has been reached that will allow American forces to return if required.
Mr Maliki will also meet Vice-President Joe Biden and US lawmakers for talks which will cover issues relating to security, energy, education and justice, the White House said.
It is Mr Maliki’s third visit to the US since he came to power in 2006. He will hold private talks with Mr Obama and a public news conference, as well as visiting Arlington National Cemetery to pay respects to those killed in action.
On Wednesday, to mark the pullout, Mr Obama will address returning soldiers at a base in North Carolina.
The BBC’s Jim Muir in Baghdad says the withdrawal is a momentous change, but it does not mean a complete end to US influence.
About 150 military trainers and several hundred private contractors are working with the Iraqi forces.
Iraqi leaders admit they still need help to meet any threat to their borders and airspace.
So some kind of continuing strategic relationship is envisaged – but its exact nature is the subject of Mr Maliki’s discussions in Washington, our correspondent says.
It is a delicate issue for the Shia-dominated government of Mr Maliki, who essentially owes his position to Iran’s support, our correspondent adds.
US troops are due to leave by the end of the year
He says the Americans – and some Iraqis – are worried about an upsurge of Iranian influence, and perhaps a resurgence of the Shia militias, once the US troops have gone.
Although a small number of US advisers and trainers will remain, negotiations over a permanent legal deal to allow American troops to return stalled before Mr Obama announced plans for the final pullou
The Pentagon wanted legal assurance that US troops would not face prosecution under Iraqi law, something Baghdad was unable to provide.
Meanwhile, Nato has also decided to withdraw its Iraq training mission by the end of the year after Baghdad refused to give it legal immunity.
In an echo of the US-Iraq negotiations, Nato was unable to agree a deal with Iraqi officials despite several weeks of “robust negotiations”, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
The Obama-Maliki talks are also expected to include discussions on how to deal with the final detainee in US custody in Iraq.
According to a report in the New York Times, no decision has yet been taken on the future of Ali Musa Daqduq, a Lebanese suspected of being an operative for the Shia militia group Hezbollah.
The US accuses him of orchestrating a Shia militia raid in 2007 that led to the deaths of five US soldiers.
The 31 December pullout deadline means the US is facing the decision about whether to hand him over to Iraqi custody or remove him from the country and continue holding him elsewhere.
“There are serious and ongoing deliberations about how to handle this individual to best protect US service members and broader US interests,” Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told the newspaper.