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Iraq's President Says U.S. Forces Needed for Two More Years

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=avPca4U90wY0&refer=top_world_news Iraq s Talabani Says U.S. Forces Needed for Two More Years April 10
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2005
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      Iraq's Talabani Says U.S. Forces Needed for Two More

      April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Iraq's new president, Jalal
      Talabani, said U.S. forces must remain in his country
      for at least two more years, the time it will take to
      rebuild security forces and defeat the insurgency.

      The departure of the U.S. and other allied forces
      won't depend solely on Iraq's ability to defend its
      borders and stop attacks by terrorists and remnants of
      Saddam Hussein's regime, Talabani said today on CNN's
      ``Late Edition'' program.

      ``We are in great need to have American and other
      allied forces in Iraq until we will be able to rebuild
      our military forces,'' Talabani said. ``Within two
      years, we can do it.''

      Talabani, a Kurd, was elected president by Iraq's
      National Assembly on April 6, ending two months of
      deadlock on forming a new government. He said he
      expects the government to draft a constitution by Aug.
      15 and that ``there is no real danger'' that Iraq will
      descend into a civil war among ethnic factions.

      Talabani said asking the U.S. forces to leave ``is not
      depending'' only on establishing an Iraqi self-defense
      force. Factors such as ``the common desire of Iraqi
      people and American people'' must be taken into
      account,'' he said, without elaborating.

      Violence has continued in Iraq even after formation of
      a government. The Pakistani consul in Baghdad was
      kidnapped yesterday after evening prayers, Agence
      France-Presse reported, citing Pakistan's Foreign
      Ministry. At least seven Iraqis were killed today in
      shootings and bombings, the news service reported.
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