A spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf, revealed yesterday that Baghdad and Washington will negotiate in June the setting of a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
Speaking to Iraq's Al-Sabah newspaper, General Khalaf said, in accordance with the Iraqi parliament's decisions to remove all foreign troops from the country, officials will discuss setting a timetable for the US troops' full withdrawal in June.
He stressed that the Iraqi government is serious about the full implementation of the parliament's decisions regarding the US forces' withdrawal.
General Khalaf explained that the message delivered by the US ambassador to interim Prime Minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, was very positive and included discussing the strategic relationship between the two countries in all its forms.
"The United States has significantly reduced its forces in Iraq as a goodwill gesture, and there are understanding and positive signals from the American side," he said.
However, General Khalaf emphasised that "the security relationship between Iraq and the United States will continue in the context of training and exchange of experiences even if the withdrawal decision is implemented."
He concluded that "the negotiations will discuss all forms of relations between the two countries in the economic, cultural, political and security fields established within the Strategic Framework Agreement."