Ready to take over?: Iraqi army soldiers patrol the streets of northwest Baghdad’s Shula neighborhood last Monday.
In what The New York Times is calling a “significant concession,” President Bush allowed the topic of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq to enter a discussion about America’s long-term strategy in the region. This occurred Thursday during a video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The New York Times:
The United States and Iraq have agreed to set a “general time horizon” for the “further reduction of U.S. combat forces in Iraq” following the improvement in security conditions in the country, the White House said Friday.
The breakthrough, which was reached between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in discussions via video link on Thursday, could lead to the successful completion of a long-term security agreement covering American operations in Iraq—from combat missions to detaining Iraqis—by the end of this month, a White House official said.
“We’re converging on an agreement,” the official said, referring to ongoing negotiations between Iraq and the United States on the deal.