[<< wikinews] Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki says U.S Troops can leave when they want
Sunday, July 15, 2007 

The Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki held a news conference on Saturday to address the Iraqi government's headway in response to a report given Thursday to the U.S President and U.S Congress on his government failures to comply with some of the 18 benchmarks the Iraqis are required to comply with in order to maintain U.S troops presence in Iraqi.
The Prime Minister stated that it would take time and effort to accomplish the political reforms that
Washington recommended considering the natural turmoil in the country. On the subject of the Iraqi military Al-Maliki expressed his belief that his military could conduct military operations without U.S forces and that "U.S Troops could leave anytime they wanted" saying if necessary Iraqi police and soldiers would replace the U.S troops on the front lines.
One of Al-Maliki top aids accused the U.S of embarrassing his government by violating human rights of Iraqis and treating his country like a U.S lab experiment. This all came after a vote passed on Thursday by U.S. House of Representatives to withdraw all troops from Iraq.


== Sources ==
 "Iraqi prime minister says U.S. troops can go 'anytime they want'" — CNN, July 15, 2007
 "Maliki: Iraq Able to Keep Security After U.S. Exit" — NPR, July 15, 2007