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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:41, March 01, 2006
Italy to complete troops withdrawal from Iraq by end of 2006: Berlusconi
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Visiting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said here on Tuesday that Italy will complete its troops withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year.

Speaking to reporters after talks with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House, Berlusconi said that he would stand by plans to withdraw all of Italy's 3,000 troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

"This plan has been agreed upon by our allies and the Iraqi government," said Berlusconi, one of the strongest U.S. allies on Iraq but facing a tough re-election campaign at home.

Italy's troops have helped training 10,000 Iraqi security officers, Berlusconi added.

Berlusconi, one of staunch U.S. allies on Iraq, is reportedly seeking U.S. support for his re-election at home more than improving bilateral ties.

The U.S.-Italy relations were strained after Italian agent Nicola Calipari was shot dead near the Baghdad airport by the US military in March 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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