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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Al-Maliki warns against timetable for troop exit, defends Hussein's hanging

Staff writer

There should be no timetable for foreign troop withdrawal from Iraq because the situation is still improving each day, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Tuesday in Tokyo.

News photo
Nouri al-Maliki

"We see there is no need for a withdrawal timetable because we are working as fast as we can," al-Maliki told a news conference at the Japan National Press Club on the second day of his four-day visit to Japan.

"We are progressing on the security issue day by day," he said, adding that the process of handing over security to the Iraqi government is continuing.

He praised the reconstruction work by the Ground Self-Defense Force in southern Iraq, saying the mission helped the local people and "was a very successful one."

Al-Maliki also defended Saddam Hussein's trial, which resulted in his execution, saying it was "a fair deal of justice."

"It was not a political execution. I think the entire world was able to see the proceedings of the lengthy trial that Saddam was going through," al-Maliki said.

He also said the Iraqi authority did not intend for the execution to have been shown around the world.

"What we actually wanted to show about the execution was Saddam going toward the execution place to reassure people" that the person responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands Iraqi people was going to be executed, al-Maliki said.

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The Japan Times

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