U.S. forces in Iraq (file photo) (CTK)
13 November 2005 -- Two Iraqi leaders have suggested that U.S.-led foreign forces could start leaving Iraq as early as next year.
President Jalal Talabani, speaking on a visit to Rome, said on 12 November that Iraqis are training police and soldiers to try to create the conditions for foreign troops to be able to leave.
Talabani said that at the current rate of progress, discussions on the withdrawal of foreign troops could start by the end of 2006.
Talabani added in a British television interview that an immediate withdrawal of U.S.-led forces would be a catastrophe and could lead to civil war.
On a visit to the U.S. state of Michigan, Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi said he expected to see a partial withdrawal of multi-national forces from Iraq in 2006.
Mahdi said he had discussed withdrawal possibilities with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Washington last week.