Iraq's Maliki, U.S. military chief discuss U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

22:58, July 28, 2010      

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki and top officer of the U.S. military Admiral Mike Mullen discussed the political situation in Iraq ahead of scheduled drawdown on U.S. troops next month.

During a meeting late on Tuesday, Maliki blamed the regional interference in Iraq's affairs for the delay of forming a new government, pledging to form it soon, a statement by Maliki's office said on Wednesday.

"The regional interference is the reason behind hampering a new government, and we have repeatedly demanded such interference in our internal affairs be halted," Malki said according to the statement.

"We are going forward in the formation of the new government as soon as possible," Maliki said.

For his part, Mullen hailed the progress in the performance of the Iraqi security forces and their ability in preserving security and stability in the country, the statement added.

Mullen arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday as part of a 10-day tour that included visiting Afghanistan. The top U.S. military leader also met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and former premier Ayad Allawi during his visit.

More than four months after Iraqis went for parliamentary polls, the political process has been almost paralyzed as the Iraqi political factions are yet to agree of the top posts and over who will have the right to form the next government.

The U.S. military is scheduled to drawdown their troops presence in Iraq to 50,000 non-combat troops starting from September despite the ongoing security concerns by sporadic violence and waves of deadly attacks that killed and wounded hundreds of Iraqis recently.

Source: Xinhua


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