British forces to quit Iraq by next summer: Brown

December 17th, 2008 - 5:02 pm ICT by IANS  

London/Baghdad, Dec 17 (DPA) British forces will leave Iraq by mid-2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said during a surprise visit to Baghdad Wednesday.He confirmed that the withdrawal would begin in the spring and that the bulk of the 4,000 British troops would have “completed their tasks” in the first half of 2009.

The announcement came in a joint statement released during Brown’s talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

They said: “The role played by the UK combat forces is drawing to a close. These forces will have completed their tasks in the first half of 2009 and will then leave Iraq.”

The partnership between the two countries would continue, it said.

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