Iraqi leader insists on deadline for troop pullout

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's prime minister is insisting that all foreign soldiers leave his country by a specific date in 2011.

The comments indicate Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government isn't satisfied with a tentative agreement forged between the U.S. and Iraq last week. That plan includes a broad pullout of combat troops by 2011 with the possibility that some troops may stay behind to continue training and advising Iraqi security forces.

The White House says negotiations with the Iraqis are continuing, and repeated the U.S. position that a withdrawal must be linked to security conditions in Iraq.

President Bush has long resisted a withdrawal timetable, but last month agreed to set a "general time horizon." An al-Maliki aide says Iraq finds that to be "too vague."

Despite the differences, al-Maliki's aides insist compromises can be found.

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


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