London: withdrawal from Iraq is approaching
Iraq-UK, Politics, 2/8/2006
The British defense secretary John Reid announced in London yesterday that "The time is approaching when the coalition which is helping them achieve this can begin leaving Iraq."
But Reid refused to give any schedule or indication on the number of soldiers who will be leaving the Gulf region. He added that giving details in this regard will "cause chaos."
Reid stressed "we will not flee away" noting "four conditions" for the withdrawal of the occupation forces. He said: First, we need to see a manageable level of threat from insurgents, be they criminal or political. Second, the Iraqi security forces must be more able to deal with this threat themselves. Third, local government bodies need to be effective, while central government supports them. And finally we, ourselves, must be confident that we can provide support and backup to local forces if needed.
Reid said "If and only if these conditions are met and if things in Iraq continue to progress as they are, there will be significantly fewer British forces there by next year."
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