Aussie leader calls for Iraq exit plan

Nov. 27, 2006 at 2:13 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Australian opposition party leader Ken Beazley has demanded the government of Prime Minister John Howard draw up an exit strategy from Iraq.

"When you are in a hole, and John Howard is in a hole on this, you don't keep on digging," he said in an interview of Australian television, The Australian reported Monday.

"The United States and United Kingdom are both now trying to work out an exit strategy, and their presence exacerbates a civil war and they want to get out of it."

Beazley is head of the Labor Party.

Australia has as many as 900 troops in Iraq.

Howard, a staunch ally of U.S. President George W. Bush, has adamantly refused to consider what he has called a premature withdrawal of forces - in essence, echoing Bush's position.

In the United States leaders of the opposition Democratic Party, which will control both houses of Congress following elections earlier this month, are also pressing for an exit strategy as Iraq appears spiraling into civil war.

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