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Kuwait denies U.S. military boost within border after Iraq withdrawal


08:27, November 07, 2011

KUWAIT CITY, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Kuwaiti defense minister said Sunday the United States would not beef up military presence in Kuwait as Pentagon picked up pace to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah denied reports that an unspecified number of U.S. troops would be shifted to Kuwait after concluding their missions in Iraq.

U.S. officials said Wednesday the Obama administration was weighing a plan to relocate around 4,000 soldiers from Iraq to Kuwait by the end of the year in what it said a move to prevent military vacuum after soldiers pull out.

Sheikh Jaber was quoted as saying by the official KUNA news agency that there was no plan to expand the U.S. forces in the country as the number of U.S. military personnel was fixed in agreements between the two countries.

Kuwait would be only a crossover for the U.S. troops to pull out from Iraq and return home, Sheikh Jaber added.

He also said that Kuwait would not allow its territory to be used for attacking any country in the region, hinting at a possible U.S. military attack on Iran.

Kuwait, a close ally of the United States, houses Camp Arifjian in the south of the country which serves as a logistic base for the U.S. military missions in Iraq.

The United States already maintains around 23,000 soldiers in the oil-rich Gulf emirate.

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