Bilateral co-operation

Ali Moussawi, one of the prime minister's advisers, said the talks will also focus on security concerns.

Al-Maliki's visit "is an opportunity to make progress on questions (regarding security), and to discuss economic, industrial and education co-operation," Moussawi told the AFP news agency on Monday.

The meeting is the first between the two since US combat troops pulled back from Iraq's major cities and towns late last month.

Iraqi forces assumed responsibility for security in the country's urban areas following the US pullback on June 30 as part of a security agreement between the two countries.

The US has since urged Al-Maliki's government to make further progress on reconciling the country's Shia, Sunni and Kurdish communities.

On a trip to Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, earlier this month, Joe Biden, the US vice president, called on Iraqi leaders to take additional steps to resolve remaining political differences.