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Poland's President Says No Date Set for Withdrawal From Iraq - 2004-10-04

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski says no timetable has been set for the withdrawal of Polish troops from Iraq, despite a recent comment by the country's defense minister.

Mr. Kwasniewski said Polish troop reduction in Iraq is under discussion but that no decision has been made. He spoke Monday in Paris after talks with French President Jacques Chirac.

In comments published today in a Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said all Polish troops in Iraq could leave by the end of next year - the deadline set in the U.N. Security Council's most recent resolution on Iraq.

Prime Minister Marek Belka said he had not been consulted on the defense minister's statement.

Poland has about 2,500 soldiers in southwestern Iraq, and commands a multi-national force of 8,000 troops in the area.