ID :
Tue, 08/02/2011 - 14:11
Auther :

Top US officer visits Iraq to push for troops decision

BAGHDAD, Aug 2 (KUNA) -- The visiting US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen met, on Monday, with Iraq's President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, and they discussed the US troops' presence in the country.
Al-Maliki informed Mullen, who arrived here late Monday, about the Iraqi government's final decision that "whether the US troops should remain in the country or not" depends on what the Iraqi parliament and the political leaders say, a statement from Al-Maliki's office said.
Al-Maliki expressed hope that the country's political leaders would reach a final agreement in a meeting to be held on Wednesday, the statement noted.
The Iraqi Prime Minister said that there is a necessity of having an "ongoing cooperation and coordination" between the Americans and the Iraqis.
He also stressed on the imp ortance of having military cooperation between Baghdad and Washington, especially, in order to enhance the Iraqi air defenses.
For his part, Mullen expressed his country's readiness to support and provide Iraq with the military training it needs to face the different challenges it might encounter.
During his visit, Mullen also visited Jalal Talabani in his office and discussed promoting bilateral relations between the two countries.
At the meeting with Talabani, Mullen reiterated the importance of the military and infrastructural support given to Iraq by the US. In the meantime, the Iraqi President lauded the role played by the US in stabilizing the country.
The Iraqi President had called on all the political leaders in the county to attend a meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, to discuss many political and security issues and to determine the US troops presence in the country.