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Key Republican senator breaks with Bush on Iraq
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08:16, July 07, 2007

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Key Republican Senator Pete V. Domenici broke with U.S. President George W. Bush and called for an immediate change in U.S. strategy that could end combat operations in Iraq by spring, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

That dealt another blow to the White House's efforts to keep Republicans united over the Iraq war, according to the report.

The six-term lawmaker, party loyalist and former staunch war supporter represents one of the most significant Republican losses to date.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Domenici said he began to question his stance on Iraq late last month, after several conversations with the family members of dead soldiers from his home state, New Mexico, and as it became clear that "Iraqi leaders are making little progress toward national reconciliation."

"We can not continue asking our troops to sacrifice indefinitely while the Iraqi government is not making measurable progress," Domenici said.

"I do not support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or a reduction in funding for our troops. But I do support a new strategy that will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path to coming home."

The White House had hoped that Republican lawmakers would stand back until a mid-September administration report on military and political progress in Iraq resulting from the president's troop-increase plan.

But Domenici's signal to Bush is clear: Republican patience is running out much more quickly.

Source: Xinhua

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