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Rumsfeld Meets With Iraqi Leaders In Baghdad

27 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari today discussed ways of strengthening Iraq's security forces to face continuous insurgent attacks.

Rumsfeld told a press conference in Baghdad that they had a "full discussion" about the timescale for the Iraqis to assume complete responsibility for security.

Rumsfeld arrived in Iraq earlier today and went straight into talks with Ja'fari and President Jalal Talabani.

Rumsfeld earlier urged Iraqi leaders to approve a new constitution without delay. However, Iraqi Kurdish leader Masud Barzani said Kurds will not give up their demand for a federal Iraqi state -- despite problems this may cause in drafting the new constitution. The Kurds are being offered regional autonomy.

And in the latest insurgent attack in Baghdad, the Associated Press reports at least one person was killed and more than a dozen injured in a mortar blast at the city bus station.


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