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Iraq, US agree on troops'' withdrawal timetable before end of 2008

BAGHDAD, Oct 6 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi said his country set the end of 2008 as the date for US troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Abdul Mahdi clarified in a statement that the Iraqi leaders agreed with a visiting US delegation for exerting effort to put and end to the US troop presence in the country before the end of 2008, as part of the security agreement.
Iraqi Presidential Council meeting, held at residence of President Jalal Talabani in Al-Sulaimaniya town last Saturday, was attended by US Secretary of State Assistant John Negroponte -- during which topics of a draft agreement with the US on the troops pull out were examined.
The American side during the meeting took the Iraqi demands into consideration, he said.
Saturday's meeting was attended by the deputy premier, Barham Ahmad Salih, and US ambassador to Iraq, Rayan Croker, as well as the officer in charge of Kirkuk and other disputed areas dossiers.
Mandate of the US troops' presence in Iraq will expire on paper by the end of this year. (end) ahh.sab KUNA 061156 Oct 08NNNN