Accessibility links

Iraqi Officials: Deal Close on US Troop Withdrawal Timeline

Iraqi officials say Baghdad and Washington are close to a deal for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq by October 2010.

They say the proposed timeline sets an initial target for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities and remain on their bases by June 30, 2009. The schedule could be amended depending on security conditions.

But U.S. officials say they have not agreed to any withdrawal dates.

They say there has been progress in security talks, but some issues remain in dispute.

A spokesman for Moqtada al-Sadr said Friday the influential Shi'ite cleric will call on his militia to disarm if the United States begins to pull troops out according to a set timetable.

Sadr has ordered several cease-fires which are attributed to a significant reduction in violence over the past year.

U.S. President George Bush and the Iraqi prime minister agreed last month to set what they call a "general time horizon" for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. U.S. officials have said such withdrawals will be tied to conditions on the ground.

Iraq's government has been pressing Washington to agree to some sort of withdrawal schedule to ensure that a security pact wins approval in the Iraqi parliament.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.