Sunday, October 19, 2008

Iraq Troop Agreement By New Year

The future of British forces in Iraq could be decided by the end of this year.

Speaking after his first visit to the country, the new Defence Secretary John Hutton said the Government and the Iraqis wanted to change the UK's role.

"We want, in the first months of next year, to see a fundamental change in our military mission in Iraq, moving towards an increased focus on military training and education as part of a broad-based bilateral partnership," he said.

"We agreed to work together intensively to put in place, by the end of this year, a formal agreement in relation to the status of UK forces in Iraq which will underpin this change."
After a meeting with Mr Hutton, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said he would appoint a negotiating team to "discuss the future of British forces".

Read the full Sky News report here.

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