Iraqi PM meets Bush, says no timetable needed for US withdrawal
US President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Abraham al-Jaafari In an Oval Office meeting Friday, were to underscore work being done to train Iraqi security forces as well as efforts to draft a constitution and rebuild the nation.
According to The AP, Al-Jaafari confidently projected Thursday that a constitution to guide his country toward democracy would be concluded by the end of August and then ratified in a popular referendum.
"We are going to do it within two months," al-Jaafari said. Asked if it would be approved by the Iraqi people in the fall, he replied, "Yes."
Al-Jaafari said, in the meantime, the U.S.-led multinational force must stay in Iraq until Iraqi forces are fully ready to defend the country by themselves. Setting of a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces would be a sign of weakness, he said. "The country would be open to increased terrorist activity," he conveyed.