» Friday, June 16, 2006


Asked about the Japanese reports suggesting that British troops might withdraw from an Iraqi province, the PMOS reminded journalists what Prime Minister Maliki had said when the Prime Minister had met him in Baghdad. There would be a process where, if the circumstances and the growing capacity of the Iraqi troops allowed, the Iraqi government would take control of security province by province. Prime Minister Maliki had indicated that he thought that process might begin this July. So we could not confirm these reports because this was a matter for the Iraqi government. The way it would work, however, was that the Iraqi government would decide when it was ready to take over a province and then authority for that province would be handed over. This would then gradually have an effect on coalition troop numbers. Our understanding was that that process would take a number of weeks. But first and foremost when it would start was a matter for the Iraqi government.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news

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