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Iraqi President Rejects U.S. Report

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (file photo) (official site) December 10, 2006 -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has dismissed the recommendations of the recent U.S. report by the Iraq Study Group, saying he rejects the nonbinding report in its entirety.

The report, which faults U.S. policy and calls the situation in Iraq "grave and deteriorating," was widely touted as a bipartisan effort to offer a fresh look at U.S. options in Iraq.

Talabani said in Baghdad that he thinks the document -- released by a group chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic lawmaker Lee Hamilton -- is flawed.

"I think the Baker-Hamilton report is not fair and not just, and it contains some very dangerous articles which are undermining the sovereignty of Iraq and the constitution and which [are] against the long struggle of the Iraqi people against dictatorship," Talabani said.

The Iraqi Constitution was hammered out by Iraqi lawmakers -- minus Sunni representatives -- and approved in a public vote in October 2005.

A White House spokesman suggested the day the Iraq Study Group report was released that U.S. President George W. Bush might unveil "a new way forward" in Iraq by the end of 2006.

In Washington, the chairmen of the Iraq Study Group defended the report. Ex-lawmaker Hamilton said the report's recommendations offer the best option, amid divergent calls for increasing troop numbers in Iraq and pulling forces out immediately.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in Iraq today to bid farewell to U.S. troops there. He will soon be replaced by Robert Gates, who flatly told senators at his recent confirmation hearings that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq.


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