Iraq wants multinational forces to stay until it has built up a military that is capable of maintaining security in the country, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said on Tuesday.
In a news conference during a visit to Japan, Jaafari also praised the conduct of the court handling the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, saying it was democratic and just.
“We don’t want this withdrawal to happen before we fully have established our armed forces and they are capable of maintaining security and peace in Iraq,” Jaafari said through an interpreter, referring to multinational forces in Iraq..
“We hope that the process of withdrawal of multinational forces from Iraq will be planned and executed together with the Iraqi government,” he said.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday embraced a call by a prominent member of her rank-and-file to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, two weeks after she declined to endorse it.
“We should follow the lead of Congressman John Murtha, who has put forth a plan to make American safer, to make our military stronger and to make Iraq more stable,” Pelosi said. “That is what the American people and our troops deserve.”