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US, Iraq Agree on Need for Timeline to Chart Progress


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, say they agree that a timeline for progress is needed in the country.

The two officials issued a joint statement after meeting Friday in Baghdad.

The statement says "the Iraqi government has made clear the issues that must be resolved," to address the challenges facing Iraq. The statement also acknowledges the need for a timeline.

The statement appears to be aimed at ending a controversy over whether the two countries had agreed on a timetable to improve security and Iraq's economy.

Earlier in the week, Khalilzad said Iraqi leaders agreed to a timeline aimed at curbing violence in the country. But Mr. Maliki said the United States had no right to impose "timetables" on his government.

In the latest violence in Iraq, the U.S. military said fierce clashes in the city of Baquba that broke out Thursday have resulted in the deaths of 24 Iraqi police officers, one civilian and 18 insurgents.

The U.S. military said Saturday another U.S. troop died in combat action. Officials said the U.S. Marine was killed Friday in al-Anbar province.

The month of October has been the deadliest for the U.S. military in a year, with 98 deaths.

In the northern city of Mosul, authorities imposed a vehicle ban after insurgents distributed leaflets threatening violence in the mixed Arab Sunni and Kurdish city.

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