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Australian Premier Visits Baghdad

25 July 2005 (RFE/RL) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard arrived today on an unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

The office of Iraqi Premier Ibrahim al-Ja'fari said Howard will be holding talks with al-Ja'fari.

Australia, a strong ally of the United States, has about 750 troops in Iraq, and Howard will visit some of these men.

Howard has refused to lay out a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, saying it depends on a range of factors, including the ability of local security forces to work effectively against the insurgency, and the ability of the democratic structures to function.


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For RFE/RL's full coverage of developments in Iraq, see "The New Iraq"