Australian FM: No one wants foreign troops in Iraq `1 minute longer than necessary




 
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October 15th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Australian FM: No one wants foreign troops in Iraq `1 minute longer than necessary


Media: The Associated Press
Byline: n/a
Date: 15 October 2006

CANBERRA, Australia - The U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq want to leave as
soon as the Iraqi government can survive without them, Australia's foreign
minister said Sunday.

"Nobody wants to stay in Iraq for one minute longer than is necessary,"
Alexander Downer told television's Ten Network. "And the definition of
necessary is whether the Iraqi regime can survive without the support of
some foreign troops."

Downer was commenting on remarks last week by Britain's army chief, Gen.
Richard Dannatt, who set off a political storm by saying foreign troops
should leave Iraq soon because they were making the security situation there
worse.

He later said he meant any withdrawal should be phased over two or three
years.

Australia has 1,300 troops in and around Iraq.

Downer said he didn't think Dannatt was saying that foreign troops should
leave Iraq immediately.

"But if the proposition here is that foreign troops eventually should
withdraw from Iraq, everybody agrees with that," he said.
 


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