BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi negotiators have proposed a timetable for U.S. withdrawals that would see combat troops leave the country by October 2010, although Washington has not yet agreed to it, a senior Iraqi official said on Friday.
If agreed, the timetable would mean the administration of President George W. Bush effectively adopting a schedule very close to that proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
“As of last night that was one of the issues being discussed between the two sides. There is no agreement yet, but this is what the Iraqis are asking for,” said the official who is close to the negotiations.
The schedule proposed by Iraqi negotiators would see U.S. forces withdraw from the streets of Iraqi cities by the middle of next year and combat troops return home by October 2010. Some American support units could stay on for another few years.