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Secretary of State Again Rejects Troop Withdrawal Calls Until Goal Achieved

11:02 PM, Oct 16, 2005 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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During a news briefing in London today, Secretary Rice responded to those demanding a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq:

I just want to emphasize again the President's point is that when the Iraqis are ready, they'll be ready. Our goal is to provide the kind of support for Iraq that this process plays out with a stable -- a foundation for a stable and democratic Iraq.

Because if we leave prematurely, we will have failed in our -- what our goal is here, which is to have a different kind of Middle East so that we do not have a terrorist base in the Middle East of the kind that's been producing these extremists.