Saturday, May 12, 2007


Talabani appeals for foreign troops to stay longer

(AHN) - While members of the U.S. Congress as well as Iraq's Parliament are considering timetables for U.S. troops to withdraw, Iraq's president is asking that troops stay at least one more year - possibly two. In an address to Britain's Cambridge University Cambridge Union Society on Friday Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said his country needed British and U.S. troops to stay at least that long to help stabilize Iraq.
His remarks came in response to a question from the audience as to how long he thought the troops would need to stay. He also mentioned hope that the United States Congress would reconsider a recent vote to limit funding for Iraq. "We are concerned and we hope that Congress will review this decision and help the American army to stay until the Iraqi army will be ready," he said, according to Britain's the Telegraph.
Although 144 members of Iraq's 275-seat parliament have signed a draft bill to set a timetable for U.S. troops leaving Iraq, in a partisan split others are in Washington, D.C. lobbying Congress not to withdraw troops. On his visit to Britain, Talabani also expressed his condolences to the families of British soldiers who have died in Iraq. He also called Britain's outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair a "hero" saying he hoped that Gordon Brown would continue the work Blair started.

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