Don't ask me ask Fox News (yes that Fox News)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told a German magazine that he supports Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.
“U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes,” al-Maliki told Der Spiegel. He said he wants U.S. troops to leave “as soon as possible.”
The apparent endorsement of a cornerstone of Obama’s foreign policy is a big boost for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee ahead of his scheduled meeting with al-Maliki. Obama, who is touring both Afghanistan and Iraq for the first time since becoming a presidential candidate, arrived Saturday in Afghanistan, where he is meeting with U.S. troops.
[snipped quote from team Obama]
Al-Maliki said for the first time earlier this month that the U.S. military should work toward a timetable for withdrawal — something President Bush and Obama’s rival John McCain oppose. The White House also reported Friday that Iraq and the United States are discussing a “general time horizon” for reductions in troop levels.
Both developments gave Obama fuel in his argument that U.S. involvement in Iraq soon must draw to a close. But al-Maliki’s comments to Der Spiegel seemingly were the deepest the foreign leader has waded into the tense foreign policy debate between the two major presidential candidates.
Al-Maliki told the magazine that his comments were “by no means an election endorsement.”
But he seemed to refer disparagingly to McCain when he said “short time periods” in Iraq are more “realistic,” while “artificially prolonging the tenure of U.S. troops in Iraq would cause problems.”
[snipped a quote of McCain for balance but that is just standard Ballance not Faux balance]
Hmm is this a coincidence "BAGHDAD —Iraqi lawmakers cleared an important hurdle on Saturday by approving the appointment of six Sunni cabinet ministers after a yearlong boycott by the Sunni political bloc." Iraqi Sunnis have been calling for a schedule for withdrawal for years now.