Maliki Backs Obama Iraq Plan

Iraq PM says a 16-month schedule to withdraw sounds about right
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2008 3:36 PM CDT
The sun sets as an Iraqi Army soldier secures a road in Amarah.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – While shying away from a presidential endorsement, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki expressed support for Barack Obama’s 16-month timeline for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, Der Spiegel reports. He expressed frustration at his country’s lack of control over US forces and said they should leave "as soon as possible, as far as we are concerned."

“Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes,” Maliki said. He also made a tacit dig at John McCain’s Iraq statements. “Artificially prolonging the tenure of US troops in Iraq would cause problems.” A withdrawal timetable is “not evidence of a defeat," he concluded, “but of a victory.”