WASHINGTON -- The United States has denied reports that it may shut down a multibillion-dollar police-training program in Iraq, saying instead that it will be downsized at Baghdad's request.
"If [the Iraqis] tell us they need less support, we are going to downsize, and in this case they are asking us to continue the advisory and training program, but to downsize it," said U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.
Nuland also said Washington was looking to cut costs.
In an earlier statement, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad insisted that there are no plans to shutter the program.
"The New York Times" reported on May 13, citing unnamed U.S. State Department officials, that due to spiraling costs and Iraqi opposition, restructuring could leave a mere 50 U.S. trainers in the program or end it entirely.
With reporting by "The New York Times" and AFP