Bulgarian president wants to see troops out of Iraq by year-end
SOFIA (AFP) - Bulgarian President Georgy Parvanov told Parliament yesterday that he would like to see Bulgaria’s 450-strong troop contingent out of Iraq before the end of the year, but for the pullout not to be hasty. “I continue to call for there to be a fast but not premature withdrawal of our forces,” Parvanov declared in a statement marking the third anniversary of his inauguration as president. He said that after elections in Iraq on January 30, “the coalition partners in Iraq should set a tentative date (for Bulgaria’s withdrawal), linked to some concrete goals.” He called on Parliament to fix a withdrawal of Bulgarian troops to before the end of 2005.
Bulgaria should leave Iraq by end 2005, president says
SOFIA (Reuters) - NATO newcomer Bulgaria should withdraw its 450 troops from Iraq by the end of the year, President Georgi Parvanov said yesterday, stepping up pressure on the staunchly pro-US government. Parvanov, speaking two weeks after US forces accidentally shot and killed a Bulgarian soldier, said he believed the Balkan country could soon cut its troop levels in Iraq by up to a third, before withdrawing completely later in 2005. «I think the troops easily could be reduced by at least 100-150,» he told reporters.