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Ukraine's President Signs Plan for Troop Withdrawal from Iraq

A top Ukrainian official says President Viktor Yushchenko has signed a plan for withdrawing the country's troops from Iraq.

The head of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, Petro Poroshenko, says the order details the phased pull-out, which began last week with the return of 137 soldiers.

He told reporters Tuesday the withdrawal will be complete by the end of the year, but the exact date will be determined after President Yushchenko consults with Ukraine's partners in the coalition in Iraq.

The Ukrainian leader meets President Bush next month at the White House.

The withdrawal of Ukraine's more than 1,600 troops from Iraq was one of Mr. Yushchenko's principal campaign pledges during last year's presidential elections.

Eighteen Ukrainian troops have been killed in Iraq during the deployment. Many Ukrainians have opposed the mission.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.