Iraqi officials say Baghdad and Washington are close to a deal for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq by October 2010.
say the proposed timeline sets an initial target for U.S. troops to
withdraw from Iraqi cities and remain on their bases by June 30,
2009. The schedule could be amended depending on security conditions.
But U.S. officials say they have not agreed to any withdrawal dates.
They say there has been progress in security talks, but some issues remain in dispute.
spokesman for Moqtada al-Sadr said Friday the influential Shi'ite
cleric will call on his militia to disarm if the United States begins
to pull troops out according to a set timetable.
Sadr has ordered several cease-fires which are attributed to a significant reduction in violence over the past year.
President George Bush and the Iraqi prime minister agreed last month to
set what they call a "general time horizon" for withdrawing U.S. forces
from Iraq. U.S. officials have said such withdrawals will be tied to
conditions on the ground.
Iraq's government has been pressing
Washington to agree to some sort of withdrawal schedule to ensure that
a security pact wins approval in the Iraqi parliament.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.