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Iraqi President Talabani says US could withdraw 50,000 troops by the end of 2005

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posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 02:47 AM
The President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, is saying that Iraqi troops can take over from tens of thousands US troops, allowing those troops to be withdrawn from Iraq. He plans to discuss the issue of US troop reduction with President Bush who has so far been reluctant to discuss a timetable for withdrawal.
Talabani's statements have been countered by members of the US armed forces who say there are no plans to reduce troops until after the elections.

Talabani is one of the most pro-US members of the Iraqi government and has previously stated a desire for permanent US bases in Iraq.


In the interview, Talabani said he planned to discuss reductions in U.S. forces during a private meeting with President Bush today, and said he believed the United States could begin pulling out some troops immediately.

"We think that America has the full right to move some forces from Iraq to their country because I think we can replace them [with] our forces," Talabani said. "In my opinion, at least from 40,000 to 50,000 American troops can be [withdrawn] by the end of this year."

That assessment differs dramatically from those offered by Bush and by U.S. military commanders in Iraq.

Bush has carefully avoided setting a timetable for reducing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, currently about 140,000, and the Pentagon plans to maintain or slightly increase the force level in anticipation of an Oct. 15 referendum on Iraq's new constitution. White House officials say that Bush's strategy for eventually withdrawing troops hinges on Iraqis' approving the constitution and holding successful elections in December.

I'm surprised to hear this from Talabani.
This is something I expect more from the Iraqi Prime Minister who has previously stated “The great desire of the Iraqi people is to see the coalition forces on their way out,”

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