Iraqi gov’t welcomes U.S. report recommending troops cut

By Xinhua

Baghdad : The Iraqi government welcomed on Tuesday a U.S. report which recommends a cut of 30,000 troops by next summer.

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Iraq’s national security advisor Mowafaq al-Rubaie voiced the welcome while reading a statement on the government official reaction to the testimony made by top U.S. commander in Iraq General David Petraeus to the Congress.

The government welcomes the Petraeus report, said the statement.

Rubaie, meanwhile, told a news conference that “we highly appreciate the sacrifices given by our partners in the coalition, which has paved the way to boost victory and security in Iraq.”

He anticipated that the U.S. troops will be less involved in combat operations in the violence-ravaged country. “We anticipate in the near future that our need will be diminished for the multi national forces to conduct direct combat operations.”

“We will work with the coalition partners to ensure that the coalition requirement in Iraq will take into consideration the growing of the Iraqi capability and security condition on the ground,” he added.

However, Rubaie said that Iraq will need the coalition forces for some time to assure the country’s security and stability until the Iraqi forces achieve capability and readiness.

In his high-profile testimony before a joint session of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committee, Petraeus suggested to cut the U.S. troops level in Iraq by about 30,000 by next July, or the level before the Bush administration decided to send 30,000 additional troops to Iraq in January to quell violence.