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British Foreign Secretary Visits Iraq

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett (file photo) (epa) September 5, 2006 -- British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett says Britain is determined that Iraqis take over responsibility for their country's security.

Beckett was speaking to reporters in Baghdad today after a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih.

Salih said that by the end of this year nearly half of Iraq's 18 provinces will be under the control of the Iraqi security forces.

Beckett is on her first visit to Iraq since she was appointed to her job by Prime Minister Tony Blair last May. She said she would meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other leaders for talks on building security and economic recovery in Iraq.

Britain has said it aims to cut by half the 7,000-strong force it has in southern Iraq next year.


Iraq In Transition

Iraq In Transition

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.