This week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki urged a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. “The direction we are taking is to have a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the forces or to have a timetable for their withdrawal,” he said. In an interview yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has rejected these calls already, flatly denied that Iraqis requested a withdrawal timeline:
Q: Senator, with Iraqi leaders now calling for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals—
McCAIN: Actually, the Iraqis are not. The Iraqis were widely reported as short a time ago as a couple of weeks ago that there would be no status of forces agreement, and Maliki would say that, and it got headlines, and of course it turned out not to be true.
Listen to it:
Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie also remarked, “We would not accept any memorandum of understanding with [the U.S.] side that has no obvious and specific dates for the foreign troops’ withdrawal from Iraq.”