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Ukrainian President Calls Troop Withdrawal from Iraq Top Priority

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko says withdrawing his country's troops from Iraq is a top priority.

Mr. Yuschenko stressed the importance of coordinating the withdrawal with Ukraine's coalition partners and withdrawing the troops without suffering any losses. The Interfax news agency quotes him as saying Thursday the military has completed its mission, and now it is time for the diplomats and instructors to do their job.

Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko said Thursday 700 of Ukraine's more than 1,600 troops in Iraq could be withdrawn by April.

Ukraine's foreign minister, Boris Tarasyuk, said last week that instructors, businessmen and diplomats will replace the peacekeepers.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.