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Iraqis worried about post-U.S. security

Oct. 24, 2011 at 10:50 AM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Iraq's neighbors shouldn't see the pending U.S. military withdrawal as an opportunity to take advantage of any security vacuum, a lawmaker said from Baghdad.

U.S. President Barack Obama last week announced that all U.S. forces on duty in Iraq would be home by the end of the year.

Maysoun al-Damlouji, a spokeswoman for the Iraqiya slate, was quoted by the Voices of Iraq news agency as saying the announcement was met with mixed reactions.

"At the same time we welcome the U.S. withdrawal, we warn some countries against utilizing the vacuum in order to intervene in Iraqi internal affairs, irrespective of diplomatic norms and good neighborly relations," she was quoted as saying.

Iraq's relationship with its neighbors is relatively peaceful. Internal divisions over who has ultimate authority over parts of northern Iraq, however, are lingering security concerns for the Iraqi military.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was considering an extended stay for U.S. military trainers but the deal collapsed because Baghdad wasn't willing to extend immunity to any remaining troops.

Obama said both sides would continue working in issues related to military training.

Meanwhile, anti-American Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr said Washington would use private contractors as a way to keep its occupation in Iraq going, Iran's Press TV reports.

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