US rejects French call for Iraqi withdrawal

7th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, Feb 6, 2007 (AFP) - The White House Tuesday rejected a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq as proposed by France's Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy.

WASHINGTON, Feb 6, 2007 (AFP) - The White House Tuesday rejected a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq as proposed by France's Prime Minister  Dominique de Villepin and Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy.

National security council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said he was not surprised by the French officials' call for US and allied military forces to pull out of Iraq in 2008.

"Their comments are consistent with their previous statements," he said.

"A timetable for withdrawal before the Iraqi Security Forces have the capacity to protect the Iraqi people would lead to greater violence in Iraq and that is not something that we can let happen," Johndroe added.

De Villepin said Tuesday in an interview on the website of the Financial Times that withdrawing US-led forces was one possible solution to Iraq's problems.

"If you do not say that in one year there will be no more American or British troops in Iraq, nothing will happen in Iraq except more deaths and crises," the prime minister told Britain's leading economic newspaper.

Meanwhile, Douste-Blazy denounced the "blindness" of US foreign policy since 2003. In comments aired by French television broadcaster I-Tele he said "the only solution" to Iraq's sectarian violence was for foreign forces there to be withdrawn by 2008.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, International politics, Iraq

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