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Iraqi FM Confident About Security After US Withdrawal


Iraq's foreign minister says he is confident his nation will be capable of taking over security after U.S. forces pull out of Iraqi cities later this month.

Hoshiyar Zebari made the comments Friday in Tokyo, where he is meeting with Japanese leaders in hopes of attracting more Japanese investment to Iraq.

Thursday, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill said the United States will meet its deadline to withdraw combat forces from Iraq's urban areas by the end of the month.

Hill says the United States will comply with its obligations under a U.S.-Iraqi security plan agreed to last year that calls for the June 30 withdrawal.

In violence Friday, police say gunmen shot and killed the coach of Iraq's national karate team, Izzat Abdullah, in Mosul.

Some media reports have said U.S. commanders are apprehensive about what may happen when troops are withdrawn from Iraqi cities, particularly Baghdad and Mosul.

Ambassador Hill says he recently visited Mosul and noted considerable tension and concern about the city's future among different ethnic and religious groups.

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