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Polish minister calls for Iraqi withdrawal

WARSAW, Poland, May 8 (UPI) -- Iraqi deployment has become increasingly unpopular among the Bush administration's European allies.

The latest government to question further participation in Iraq is Poland, where populist Andrzej Lepper of the Self-Defense Party is pressing government authorities to give a timetable for the withdrawal of Polish troops from Iraq.

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The Warsaw Business Journal reported on May 8 that Lepper, who joined the government on Friday, said that his party would oppose an extension of the country's military presence in Iraq beyond December 2006.

Poland currently has about 900 troops in Iraq.

In last December's agreement between the ruling conservatives and President Lech Kaczynski with the Bush administration, the door was left open for Polish troops to possibly remain in Iraq longer than the end of 2006.

Lepper became agricultural deputy prime minister in a coalition deal. Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Polish voters oppose extending Poland's military commitment in Iraq.

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