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Iraq

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account will be taken of the views of the Iraqi Government when considering troop withdrawal from Iraq; and what assessment she has made of the recent comments by Iraq's (a) Prime Minister and (b) National Security Adviser on this issue. (80430)

We are committed to Iraq for as long as the Iraqi Government judge that the coalition is required to provide security and to assist the Iraqi security forces. All decisions on the presence of multinational forces in Iraq reflect regular and intense consultation with the Iraqi authorities. Recommendations on the transfer of security responsibility in each of Iraq's provinces and cities from coalition to Iraqi security forces are made jointly, with the ultimate decision being made by the Iraqi Prime Minister.

This process was reflected in Prime Minister Maliki's 19 June statement announcing the forthcoming transfer of security responsibility in Muthanna province and Mowaffak al-Rabaie's article of 20 June. We remain committed to providing what support we can to help the Iraqi authorities achieve our shared goal of a stable and democratic future for Iraq.