Iraqi PM presents reconciliation plan as Japanese troops start pullout
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki presented his 28-point national reconciliation plan to parliament Sunday, a document that calls for setting a timeline for Iraqi troops to take control of security throughout the country.
Al-Maliki's plan called for a general amnesty that would exclude "those who committed crimes against the Iraqi people." "The plan is open to all those who want to enter the political process to build their country and save their people, as long as they did not commit crimes," Maliki told MPs.
"Reconciliation and national dialogue does not mean honouring and reaching out to the killers and criminals, no and a thousand nos -- there is no reconciliation with those until they are punished for their crimes."
In the south of Iraq, the first of Japan's force of 600 troops started pulling out of the country, crossing the border into Kuwait, according to the Associated Press.
The Japanese pullout started with the departure of some 15 vehicles transporting trucks, bulldozers and equipment from the provincial capital of Samawah early Sunday morning.