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News number: 8804071125

17:02 | 2009-06-28


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Minister Stresses Iraq's Ability to Maintain Security

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader al-Obeidi on Sunday stressed ability of his country's forces to maintain security in Iraq, and hoped for a complete withdrawal of US forces from the country.

"Iraqi security forces are ready to defend the country's cities and secure them," al-Obeidi told FNA in Baghdad.

"All the security authorities have prepared good security plans and would implement them in the next few days," he reiterated.

Commenting on US forces' pull back from the Iraqi cities, the minister wished for a complete exit of the US forces, and added, "The day of US forces' withdrawal from Iraq would be the day of glory for the Iraqi nation."

American forces already have begun pulling back from outposts inside the cities ahead of a June 30 deadline, the first phase of a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Obeidi noted the event, and said that the day of the complete US withdrawal will be welcomed by all Iraqis as a pleasant day.

The Iraqi government on Tuesday declared a public holiday to mark withdrawal of US combat troops from Baghdad and other cities.

Iraqi Government Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Tuesday that ceremonies will be held on Monday and the deadline itself will be a public holiday, although students will still have to take their final exams as scheduled.

The announcement comes days after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the US withdrawal from the cities a "great victory".