WASHINGTON (AFP/Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday expressed confidence in the future of his country following a full withdrawal of US troops at the end of the month. But he said he was counting on US assistance. US President Barack Obama announced in October that US troops would leave Iraq by the end of 2011, bringing to a close an almost nine-year war. "Today, however, I am confident about the future of my country and the capabilities and resilience of our people," Maliki wrote in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post. He said his government was seeking a "comprehensive redevelopment" of the country, which would involve creation of legislation and institutions, strengthening of freedoms, and reinforcement of Iraqi democracy. "We want to build a state of citizens and not sects," Maliki wrote. "We want to create a healthy environment conducive to investment and provide vital services to citizens, including access to a proper education." The prime minister said Iraq sought to build a strong army and security forces that have the capacity to protect its sovereignty and interests. "We are able to do this with the help of the United States," he said. Maliki said Baghdad opposed foreign interference in Iraqi affairs. "Iraq does not aspire to unduly influence any state but looks to cooperate with all countries to help maintain regional security," he wrote. "Iraq will not allow itself to become a source of disruption to friendly countries." Meanwhile, an Iraqi Sunni Muslim group with links to the banned Baath party of late dictator Saddam Hussein vowed on Monday to continue attacks on US personnel staying in Iraq even after a complete US troop withdrawal by the end of December. In a video posted on the website of al-Nakshabandia, an armed group affiliated with the Baath party, a veiled man dressed in a military uniform called for jihad, or holy war, against US citizens who will be staying in Iraq after the withdrawal as trainers or security personnel. "It was confirmed to us through the intelligence of our army that the enemy forces still exist in the bases they said they have withdrawn from and in their embassy... under the name of security companies or trainers or forces to protect Iraq's airspace and regional waters," said the man, who was identified as the military spokesman of the militant group. "This existence of the American enemy... is nothing but a new form of occupation... we will continue our jihad and will target them wherever they were on Iraq's land and under any name, and we will strike with an iron fist," he said as he stood in front of Saddam's old Iraqi flag. US officials have often said that al-Nakshabandia, whose full name is Jaish al-Tareqah al-Nakshabandia, are militants of the new Baath party and do not rule out possible cooperation between the insurgent group and al Qaeda in Iraq.