Bush consults with Iraqi premier on troop withdrawal

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have talked by secure video on a plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by 2011.

Bush spoke to al-Maliki while vacationing at his ranch in Texas.

A White House spokesman says the discussions remain "ongoing" but, in his words, "hopefully drawing to a conclusion."

The comments contradict reports that a 27-point withdrawal plan had been approved by both sides. The deal calls for U.S. troops to pull out of major Iraqi cities by June, with a broader exit to come by 2011.

Those dates could be adjusted if security and political progress in Iraq deteriorate.

There are about 140,000 U.S. forces in Iraq. More than 4,100 American troops have been killed there.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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