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Sunni Arab Party Urges Halt To Raids

Senior Sunni official Taha al-Luhaybi speaking to journalists in Baghdad today (AFP) 13 November 2005 -- Iraq's main Sunni Arab-backed party today called for a halt to large-scale operations by U.S. and Iraqi security forces in the country.

The Islamic Party says such operations are making the life of locals "hell."

It adds that they are likely to undermine both the political process in the country and the security situation in the run-up to the 15 December general elections.

Earlier, two Iraqi leaders 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 discussions on the withdrawal of foreign troops could start by the end of 2006.

On a visit to the United States, Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi said he expected to see a partial withdrawal of multi-national forces from Iraq in 2006.


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