US commander concerned over Iraq political deadlock: Report

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 11:47

Washington: Washington: The US commander in Iraq voiced
concern over the country`s political stalemate in an interview
published on Tuesday, warning that failure to form a new government
could undermine Iraqis` faith in democratic rule.

General Ray Odierno, who will step down as the top US
officer in Iraq on Wednesday, told the New York Times that he
hoped negotiations to form a government would prove successful
and that Iraqi politicians probably still required "four to
six to eight weeks."

General Ray Odierno, who will step down as the top US
officer in Iraq on Wednesday, told the New York Times that he
hoped negotiations to form a government would prove successful
and that Iraqi politicians probably still required "four to
six to eight weeks."
But if talks break down, there was the possibility yet
another election would have to be called, he said.

"If it goes beyond 1 October, what does that mean? Could
there be a call for another election? I worry about that a
little bit."

He said mounting frustration over the political deadlock
carried risks for Iraq`s fledgling democracy.

"The longer that takes, the more frustrated they might
get with the process itself," Odierno said.

"What I don`t want is for them to lose faith in the
system, the democratic system, and that`s the long-term risk,
do they lose faith in the process.
Odierno has presided over a drawdown of US forces, which
now number less than 50,000, with President Barack Obama set
to mark the formal end to the combat mission by September 1.

The remaining US troops are charged with the task of
advising and assisting Iraqi forces, but American officials
had expected that Iraq would have a new government in place by
now.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 11:47

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