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 Former Kurdistan PM: Iraq in great need of U.S. forces after 2011 

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Former Kurdistan PM: Iraq in great need of U.S. forces after 2011  12.8.2011  
ekurd.net





August 12, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Former Kurdistan Regional Government KRG Prime Minister and co-ruling KDP party leader Nechirvan Barzani said that the Kurdish leadership has expressed a clear position on the issue of retaining some U.S. forces after December 31, 2011 until the Iraqi military forces become competent to protect the democratic operations "for which Iraqis have made sacrifices for many years."

Responding to a question about the U.S. military's readiness to respond to Iran's provocations in northern Iraq,
www.ekurd.netBarzani said: "Let's be practical. The Kurdish region adheres to the principle that it will not allow the use of its territory under any circumstances to threaten the security of its neighbours, whether Iran or Turkey."

There are still around 45,000 US soldiers stationed in Iraq, including 1,200 who participate in a confidence-building tripartite patrols and checkpoints with central government forces and Kurdish security officers           

Nechirvan Barzani, former Kurdistan region PM and deputy secretary of the co-ruling KDP party. Photo: AP
across northern Iraq. These U.S. forces in Iraq are required to leave the country at the end of December under the terms of a bilateral status of forces agreement signed in 2008.

Asos Hardi a prominent Kurdish writer who has founded two independent newspapers in Iraqi Kurdistan says U.S. troops guarantee a certain freedom in Iraqi Kurdistan, Even with the presence of Americans our freedoms are being curtailed," he said. "Imagine what will happen if they leave."

"The withdrawal of U.S. troops will bring nothing but disaster," Hardi told Reuters.
 

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