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Iraq rejects Labor's troop withdrawal
Cat : War Against Iraq
Date : 2006-10-24 17:03:34                      Reader : 358

spread of civil war every where in the country,and splitting Iraq into cantons, due to presence of foreign troops with their secret security services including Mossad and CIA, the deputy PM requests troops to stay in Iraq!! We deny vigorously attitude of Iraq government that demands extension of colonialism of their country!!

Google .com 24/10/2006

Iraq rejects Labor's troop withdrawal

IRAQ'S deputy prime minister has rejected Labor's plan for a speedy withdrawal of Australian troops from southern Iraq.

Barham Salih, in Britain for meetings with Prime Minister Tony Blair, said everyone was aware of the gravity of the situation and that the Iraqi government needed to assume more responsibility.

Asked about the Australian opposition's promise to withdraw troops, Mr Salih said on ABC radio: "I do believe there is no option for the international community to cut and run.

"The fate of Iraq is vital to the future of the Middle East and world order," he said.

"I believe that the international community must recognise that they have a partner in the government of Iraq to make sure that Iraq is stabilised and Iraq is peaceful and Iraq will become a partner to the rest of the world in the battle against terrorism and extremism."

Mr Salih said Iraq understood it needed to demonstrate some progress on the ground but the partnership between Iraq and the rest of the world remained vital.

"Remember, Saddam's Iraq was a source of instability in the region. Saddam's Iraq was a haven for terrorists. Today's Iraq is a partner of the international community in the battle against international terrorism," he said.

Australia now has some 900 troops in and around Iraq, with about 500 serving as the Overwatch Battle Group in Talil, Dhi Qar province, in southern Iraq.

The latest six-monthly personnel rotation is under way.

It is these troops who would come home first under a Labor government.

Opposition defence spokesman Robert McClelland said the Iraqi administration still wasn't doing enough to get its own house in order and rein in militias responsible for the worst sectarian violence.

"There's every indication the presence of western troops is actually something that inflames the violence in itself," he said on ABC radio.

"It's just not working. There have to be alternative solutions.

"Everyone's got to be fair dinkum about this. The Australian presence is there substantially to have the Australian flag there beside the United States troops and the British troops."

The overall commander of UK and Australian forces in southern Iraq, British Major General Richard Shirreff, suggested there may be scope for troop reductions as security responsibility was progressively handed back to Iraq authorities.

He said British troops were carrying out major operation, called Sinbad, to pacify the city of Basra.

Maj Gen Shirreff said he was nervous of fixing a timetable.

"In terms of a planning assumption and I am pretty optimistic that as we run through Sinbad that will come to an end at some stage in the new year, we will be able to set the conditions for provincial Iraqi control," he said on ABC radio.

"That could mean and will probably mean, assuming we get there, a reasonable size reduction in British in southeast Iraq. It will not mean a complete withdrawal.

"We will still be needed after provincial Iraqi control but I would see us, in terms of a planning assumption, I can see every reason for a reasonable reduction in size."

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