Gates says Iraq withdrawal on schedule

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2009 4:29 PM

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says warnings that politics could push back Iraqi elections scheduled for January aren't affecting his plans for a troop withdrawal now.

Gates told a Pentagon news conference plans are going ahead for a large U.S. pullout next spring.

Iraqi lawmakers will vote Saturday on how to break a deadlock over a key election law after a vice president vetoed the legislation, causing a crisis that could delay a national vote scheduled for January.

The United States has more than 100,000 troops in Iraq, many of them biding their time in case they are needed for security surrounding the election.