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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Polish Cabinet asks president for Iraq pullout by October 31

RIA Novosti

18/12/2007 18:59 WARSAW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - Poland's government asked the president on Tuesday to approve a withdrawal of the country's troops from Iraq by October 31, 2008.

The Polish contingent has been deployed in Iraq since 2003, and currently numbers about 900. A total of 22 Polish soldiers have been killed in the country.

President Lech Kaczynski, a staunch supporter of the U.S., has previously resisted calls for a pullout from Iraq, and until recently had the backing of a government led by his twin brother, ex-premier Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

It remains uncertain whether the president will agree to the early pullout date.

Addressing parliament on November 23 his inaugural speech, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that his government would ensure a complete withdrawal of troops by the end of next year, in line with his Civic Platform party's pre-election pledge.

"In one year's time, I will announce to you here in this chamber that our military mission in Iraq is over," Tusk said.

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