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Italy to begin Iraq withdrawal in September - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Gleneagles, Scotland — Italy plans to begin withdrawing some of its troops from Iraq in September, Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Friday.

&#34We will begin withdrawing 300 men in the month of September,&#34 said Berlusconi, who has come under increasing pressure in Italy over the Iraq war in recent months.

However, he added that the decision would depend on security conditions on the ground and could change.

Berlusconi, a staunch ally of U.S. President George W. Bush, sent 3,000 troops to Iraq after the ouster of Saddam Hussein to help rebuild the country.

In recent months, Italian officials have gone back and forth on when a withdrawal might begin. The Associated Press quoted Berlusconi as saying that September was a possibility, but Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini then talked of early 2006.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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