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Iraqi Troops to Take Control of Maysan Province Next

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says coalition forces will next hand over control of southern Maysan province to Iraqi troops.

Zebari was speaking in London Tuesday, after talks with British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett. Zebari did not say when he expects the transfer to take place.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirmed that British, Australian and Japanese troops will soon turn over security responsibility to Iraqi forces in southern Muthana province.

Beckett would not say whether the transfer of responsibility will mean that British forces will return home or be redeployed elsewhere in Iraq. Britain has about 7,200 troops in southern Iraq based around the city of Basra.

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