View Full Version : Iraqi Leader Urge A Timetable For Eventual Troop Withdrawal

11-21-2005, 07:15 PM
Iraqi Leaders Urge a Timetable for Eventual Troop Withdrawal


(Gold9472: Ya hear that BushCo? They don't want us there either.)

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Iraqi leaders, meeting at a reconciliation conference in Cairo, urged an end to violence in the country and demanded a timetable for the withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq.

In a final statement, read by Arab League chief Amre Moussa, host of the three-day summit, they called for ``the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces.'' No date was specified.

``The Iraqi people look forward to the day when the foreign forces leave Iraq, when it's armed and security forces will be rebuilt and when they can enjoy peace and stability and get rid of terrorism,'' the leaders said in the statement. The session was broadcast live from the Egyptian capital by al-Jazeera.

The summit was held to prepare for a larger conference scheduled to take place in Baghdad in February. The Arab League is playing an increasing role in attempting to bring Iraq's Kurdish, Shiite, and Sunni groups closer together.

``I consider it a real success,'' Moussa said at a news conference after the closing session. ``I would say we have succeeded in bringing opinions closer by about 70 percent but I will continue to warn against exaggerated expectations.''

``It's a first step, many difficulties and differences remain,'' Moussa said. At one point Shiite and Kurdish delegates stormed out of a closed session when one of the speakers said they had sold out to the U.S., the Associated Press reported.

Legitimate Right
The final statement also stated that ``resistance is a legitimate right for all people.'' The conference almost collapsed earlier today when Sunni leaders objected to the definition of ``resistance,'' al-Jazeera said.

``Terrorism is not legitimate resistance and thus we condemn terrorism and the acts of violence, killings and kidnappings that target Iraqi citizens; civil, governmental and humanitarian organizations; national wealth and houses of worships,'' the leaders said in the statement.

Shiite civilians have been frequently targeted by Sunni-led insurgents who seek to foment sectarian tensions in the country, and destabilize Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's government.