WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States on Tuesday rejected a demand from Iraq for a specific date for pullout of US-led foreign troops from the country, saying any withdrawal will be based on conditions on the ground.
"The US government and the government of Iraq are in agreement that we, the US government, we want to withdraw, we will withdraw. However, that decision will be conditions-based," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said.
Iraq said on Tuesday it will reject any security pact with the United States unless it sets a date for the pullout of US-led troops.
"We will not accept any memorandum of understanding if it does not give a specific date for a complete withdrawal of foreign troops," national security advisor Muwaffaq al-Rubaie told reporters in the holy city of Najaf.
The controversial demand from Baghdad's Shiite-led government underlines Iraq's new hardened stand in complex negotiations aimed at striking a security deal with Washington.