This started a firestorm everywhere, from one end of the world wide web to the other and countries from all over used those words in their headlines..
The media jumped on the statement, bloggers and citizen journalists everywhere quoted from the reports and Barack Obama used those words in a piece he wrote as an opinion editorial in the New York Times, where he said, "The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States."
One minor problem with the text versus the audio of Maliki's actual words.
He never used the word withdrawal and for over a week now, Iraqi officials have been trying to get that point across.
That was the version of Mr Maliki's remarks put out in writing by his office in Baghdad.
It was widely circulated by the news media, and caught much attention, including that of Mr Obama.
There is only one problem. It is not what Mr Maliki actually said.
According to the BBC, the actual statement from the recording of his remarks that they listened to, was, "The direction is towards either a memorandum of understanding on their evacuation, or a memorandum of understanding on programming their presence."
Programming their presence instead of programming their withdrawal was the literal translation of Maliki's words and although no one has explained how or why the word was replaced when by his office.
After it was widely reported, the statement was reinforced by National Security Adviser, Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, who later said that no agreement would be reached without a specific date for US troops to withdraw. That was said after Maliki's words were misreported and after a meeting with the senior Shiite clerical eminence, Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
In statements following that al-Rubaie backtracked and said "timeline horizons, not specific dates", and said that the timing of any withdrawal would depend on the readiness of the Iraqi security forces.
Iraqi leaders will no doubt continue to make ambiguous statements. And US presidential contenders will no doubt continue to construe them to their own advantage.
But when Mr Obama visits Baghdad, as he is expected to later this month, he is unlikely to find that the Iraqi government is quite as set on demanding deadlines for US withdrawal as he would like to think.
The issue is controversial coming up to both the American presidential election and the Iraq provincial elections, but the Iraq government understands that their secuirty forces are not quite ready to stand on their own yet against the two serious key challenges that face them. One being "the Sunni radicals of al-Qaeda and related group" and the other being the "Shia militias which were partly suppressed in fierce battles this spring in Basra and Baghdad."
As the BBC states the Iraqi leaders know that their survival depends on the U.S. forces supporting them until the Iraqi forces are capable of standing alone.