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Bush refuses to set timetable for Iraq withdrawal
Updated: 2004-08-07 11:17

US President George W. Bush on Friday refused to set a timetable for withdrawing the roughly 140,000 US troops out of Iraq, saying US troops would stay there until the job is completed.

"We will stay there until the job is completed and our commanders on the ground tell us," Bush said in remarks to the "Unity: Journalists of Color" conference held at the Washington Convention Center.

When asked if there was a timetable for pulling out forces from Iraq, Bush said there are some people who try to get him to lay out a timetable, but "I am not going to do it."

Bush insisted that the dynamics in Iraq had changed.

"(Iraqi) Prime Minister (Iyad) Allawi is now in charge of the interim government. He is a tough, strong guy, who believes that Iraq can be free and democratic. And that is an important step," Bush said.

"The ultimate success of our venture in Iraq, which is a free and democratic country, will depend upon how quickly we can help the Iraqis defend themselves," Bush said.

Bush has vowed that the US troops would stay in Iraq "as long as necessary."

More than one year after Bush declared the end of the Iraq war,the insurgency in Iraq has been escalating and nearly 1,000 US soldiers have been killed there.

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