Iraqi official: US pullout call premature

Iraq's representative to the United Nations has said, in advance of an international conference on his country's future, that it is too early to discuss a US troop pullout.

    Iraq says it will request a US pullout after police are trained

    Samir Sumaidai said before the opening of the two-day conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Shaikh: "In line with [UN Security Council] Resolution 1546, we have the power to call for this withdrawal.


    "This issue will be decided depending on the level of violence and after the training of Iraqi security forces has been completed. When we reach that point, we will tell them goodbye," he said.

    Sumaidai went on to say it would be wrong to set a date for withdrawal during the conference. He stated that the elected government, after the polls set for 30 January, would decide the right time for any pullout.

     

    A draft Sharm al-Shaikh declaration is based on an Egyptian text that was amended during several preparatory meetings held in Cairo, amid wrangling between Washington and Paris, which wanted a fixed date for a pullout.

    No time limit

     

    While not setting a time limit for the deployment of the US-led forces, it reiterates that their mandate is not open-ended and will run out in keeping with Resolution 1546.

     

    Hushiar Zibari says Iran will host
    a meeting of Iraq's neighbours

    The resolution calls for their mandate to be reviewed at the request of the Iraqi government or 12 months after the Security Council vote which took place last June.

     

    As part of efforts to restore security, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hushiar Zibari said on Monday that Iran was to host a meeting of Iraq's neighbours on 30 November at the level of interior minister.

    SOURCE: AFP


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