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Iraq's Interim President: Too Soon for Foreign Forces to Leave

Iraq's interim President Ghazi al-Yawar says it would be "complete nonsense" to ask foreign troops to leave the country now, but he says some could depart by the end of this year.

At a news conference Tuesday, Mr. al-Yawar said foreign forces should leave only after Iraq's security forces are built up and the security situation has improved.

There are now about 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, as well as about 20,000 troops from several other countries.

Mr. al-Yawar, who is a Sunni Muslim, also urged all parties, including Sunni groups that called for a boycott of Sunday's election, to participate in forming the new government.

A preliminary vote count was completed Monday, and election officials say workers are now compiling final tallies in Baghdad. Those results are not expected for about 10 days.

Also Tuesday, Iraqi authorities eased election security measures and reopened the country's borders and Baghdad's airport. There has been some violence, however, in the northern city of Irbil, two policemen were killed by a roadside bomb.

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