Aboard A US Military Aircraft: The United States may speed up the drawdown of US troops from Iraq, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday after a surprise visit to the war-scarred country.
"The pace of the drawdown of US troops from Iraq may be
accelerated. Security conditions are improving in Iraq," Gates
told reporters travelling with him from Iraq to Turkey.
The defence secretary spoke after meeting Massud Barzani,
president of Iraq`s autonomous Kurdish region, following talks
on Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in
He urged the feuding Iraqi Arab and Kurdish leaders to
settle their differences peacefully or risk plunging the
country back into violence.
"He reminded his hosts that we have all sacrificed too
much in blood and treasure to see the gains of the last two
years lost to political differences," his press secretary
Geoff Morrell said after Gates`s meeting with Barzani.